Lockheed’s Lisa Callahan: Industry Must Secure Comms to Reprogrammable Satellites

Industry executives have warned that the growing interest of satellite operators on software-defined satellites that can be reprogrammed on orbit also increases their vulnerability to cyber threats, SpaceNews reported Monday.

“If we can reprogram satellites, you literally have to have secure communications to those satellites “¦ so they cannot be reprogrammed [by someone else]," Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of commercial civil space at Lockheed Martin, was quoted as saying.

Callahan and other executives who took part in a panel discussion during the Satellite 2019 conference in Washington, D.C., were concerned that software-based satellites would give hackers a means to access satellite systems. 

Jeb Linton, chief technology officer for IBM Cloud's Partner Ecosystem and Cognitive Security division, said artificial intelligence could help secure satellites at the same time manage large amount of data in space.

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