Whether satellite, UAV, wearable, or other military equipment, today’s advanced military hardware contains highly-complex embedded microelectronic systems that include processing, data storage, and data receiving/transmitting capabilities. In-theater soldiers rely on these devices to successfully (and safely) complete their missions, and mission commanders require accurate, real-time information from these devices to command forces.
The increase in connected military devices has also lead to a dramatic rise in security threats. Through side-channel attacks, malicious parties can hack these devices and extract cryptographic keys, exposing sensitive information. Systems can be targeted through Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks, rendering entire groups of connected hardware ineffective and untrusted. At Rambus, we understand the importance of protecting sensitive information and assets. We address this by building products and services that secure systems, and provide better, faster access to data.
Beyond the traditional jamming and spoofing attacks, there is a growing and significant risk of a malicious attacker taking physical control of a satellite, decaying its orbit, exposing it to irreversible solar radiation damage, or maneuvering into other satellites in orbit. Satellites today contain highly complex embedded microelectronics systems, complete with processing, data storage, and data receiving/transmitting capabilities. Further, they are controlled by ground stations and computers in data centers. Because of this, they are susceptible to threats prevalent in cloud computing architectures, including insider threats, malicious downloads, etc.
Electronic devices that use cryptography are susceptible to side-channel attacks, including Simple Power Analysis (SPA) and Differential Power Analysis (DPA). Equipment captured by, or simply in close proximity to an adversary can potentially be hacked using low-cost, non-invasive methods that enable attackers to stealthily extract secret cryptographic keys used during secure device operations. Once the keys have been extracted, adversaries can easily gain unauthorized access to a device, decrypt or forge messages, steal identities, clone devices, create unauthorized signatures and perform additional unauthorized transactions.