DailySA: U.S. satellite networks at risk – Forward Observer

DailySA: U.S. satellite networks at risk

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 18 March 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa


  • U.S. satellite networks at risk
  • DoD shoots down cruise missile with laser
  • U.S. infrastructure ‘fake news’ to stop cyberattacks
  • Ukraine arrests Russian comms asset
  • Hazards Warning


  • InFocus: Global Food Security 
  • Far Left Activity Rollup & Outlook


US SATELLITE NETWORKS AT RISK: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and FBI issued a warning to U.S. and international satellite communication networks. Citing “possible threats” and spillover from the war in Ukraine, CISA recommends lowering “the threshold for reporting and sharing indications of malicious cyber activity.” (AC: The update doesn’t mention Russia by name, but their anti-satellite capabilities include cyberattacks against land-based systems. The deteriorating diplomatic situation between the West and Russia increases the likelihood of retaliatory attacks against U.S. cyber and satellite infrastructure. Possible targets include cellular providers, logistics, GPS, aircraft, and maritime tracking services. — D.M.)

DOD SHOOTS DOWN CRUISE MISSILE WITH LASER: For the first time, the Department of Defense (DOD) has shot down a cruise missile target with a laser. Heidi Shyu, Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, stated that she was very impressed with the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) program results as they “shot down a cruise missile.” ONR spokesman, Bob Freeman, stated that the demonstration was a part of the Layered Missile Defense project. The successful direct energy test can significantly change operational concepts for how the U.S. conducts warfare. (AC: As adversary missile capability and proliferation increase in speed, range, and maneuverability, improving laser-based weapons is the capability needed to protect valuable assets, such as aircraft carriers. Cheaper costs per shot that can complement U.S. counter missile capabilities is a focus area for the Pentagon against cheaper missiles and drones. — D.F.)

U.S. INFRASTRUCTURE ‘FAKE NEWS’ TO STOP CYBERATTACKS: The Nation Science Foundation has awarded $500,000 to researchers developing systems that feed false information to cybercriminals that attempt to intrude energy infrastructure control networks. The intent is to disrupt cyber-reconnaissance and lead adversaries to develop ineffective strategies to attack U.S. critical infrastructure. (AC: Preparation for cyberattacks on major critical infrastructure can take up to months or years. Reconnaissance of network design is critical to properly staging for an attack. By integrating deliberate false information into critical infrastructure networks, attacks can be nullified or, at minimum, slowed down if undetected. — D.F.).

UKR ARRESTS RUSSIAN COMMS ASSET: Ukrainian authorities arrested an individual suspected of providing communications support to Russian forces inside Ukraine. The “hacker” executed SMS campaigns urging Ukrainian leadership, security services, and municipal workers to surrender and support Russian troops. Notably, he is accused of routing cell phone traffic from Russia to troops inside Ukraine, transmitting orders and information to battlefield commanders. (AC: This is the second high-profile arrest of a Ukrainian national supporting Russian information warfare and now potentially battlefield communications. It remains unlikely Ukraine has the technical capability to detect and disrupt these “hackers” without support from the West. This indicates NATO and U.S. intelligence sharing extends beyond battle tracking. — D.M.)


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