AT-2 - Literacy Training and Awareness

a. Provide security and privacy literacy training to system users (including managers, senior executives, and contractors): 1. As part of initial training for new users and [Assignment: organization-defined frequency] thereafter; and 2. When required by system changes or following [Assignment: organization-defined events]; b. Employ the following techniques to increase the security and privacy awareness of system users [Assignment: organization-defined awareness techniques]; c. Update literacy training and awareness content [Assignment: organization-defined frequency] and following [Assignment: organization-defined events]; and d. Incorporate lessons learned from internal or external security or privacy incidents into literacy training and awareness techniques.

Informational References

ID: AT-2
Enhancements:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Created: 2023/05/08
Last Modified: 2023/05/08

Countermeasures Covered by Control

ID Name Description
CM0041 User Training Train users to be aware of access or manipulation attempts by a threat actor to reduce the risk of successful spear phishing, social engineering, and other techniques that involve user interaction. Ensure that role-based security-related training is provided to personnel with assigned security roles and responsibilities: (i) before authorizing access to the information system or performing assigned duties; (ii) when required by information system changes; and (iii) at least annually if not otherwise defined.
CM0052 Insider Threat Protection Establish policy and procedures to prevent individuals (i.e., insiders) from masquerading as individuals with valid access to areas where commanding of the spacecraft is possible. Establish an Insider Threat Program to aid in the prevention of people with authorized access performing malicious activities.

Space Threats Tagged by Control

ID Description

Sample Requirements


Related SPARTA Techniques and Sub-Techniques

ID Name Description
IA-0007 Compromise Ground System Threat actors may initially compromise the ground system in order to access the target spacecraft. Once compromised, the threat actor can perform a multitude of initial access techniques, including replay, compromising FSW deployment, compromising encryption keys, and compromising authentication schemes. Threat actors may also perform further reconnaissance within the system to enumerate mission networks and gather information related to ground station logical topology, missions ran out of said ground station, birds that are in-band of targeted ground stations, and other mission system capabilities.
IA-0007.01 Compromise On-Orbit Update Threat actors may manipulate and modify on-orbit updates before they are sent to the target spacecraft. This attack can be done in a number of ways, including manipulation of source code, manipulating environment variables, on-board table/memory values, or replacing compiled versions with a malicious one.
IA-0007.02 Malicious Commanding via Valid GS Threat actors may compromise target owned ground systems components (e.g., front end processors, command and control software, etc.) that can be used for future campaigns or to perpetuate other techniques. These ground systems components have already been configured for communications to the victim spacecraft. By compromising this infrastructure, threat actors can stage, launch, and execute an operation. Threat actors may utilize these systems for various tasks, including Execution and Exfiltration.
IA-0009 Trusted Relationship Access through trusted third-party relationship exploits an existing connection that has been approved for interconnection. Leveraging third party / approved interconnections to pivot into the target systems is a common technique for threat actors as these interconnections typically lack stringent access control due to the trusted status.
IA-0009.03 User Segment Threat actors can target the user segment in an effort to laterally move into other areas of the end-to-end mission architecture. When user segments are interconnected, threat actors can exploit lack of segmentation as the user segment's security undoubtedly varies in their system security posture and attack surface than the primary space mission. The user equipment and users themselves provide ample attack surface as the human element and their vulnerabilities (i.e., social engineering, phishing, iOT) are often the weakest security link and entry point into many systems.
IA-0012 Assembly, Test, and Launch Operation Compromise Threat actors may target the spacecraft hardware and/or software while the spacecraft is at Assembly, Test, and Launch Operation (ATLO). ATLO is often the first time pieces of the spacecraft are fully integrated and exchanging data across interfaces. Malware could propagate from infected devices across the integrated spacecraft. For example, test equipment (i.e., transient cyber asset) is often brought in for testing elements of the spacecraft. Additionally, varying levels of physical security is in place which may be a reduction in physical security typically seen during development. The ATLO environment should be considered a viable attack vector and the appropriate/equivalent security controls from the primary development environment should be implemented during ATLO as well.
DE-0004 Masquerading Threat actors may gain access to a victim spacecraft by masquerading as an authorized entity. This can be done several ways, including through the manipulation of command headers, spoofing locations, or even leveraging Insider's access (i.e., Insider Threat)
EXF-0009 Compromised Partner Site Threat actors may compromise access to partner sites that can be used for future campaigns or to perpetuate other techniques. These sites are typically configured for communications to the primary ground station(s) or in some cases the spacecraft itself. Unlike mission operated ground systems, partner sites may provide an easier target for threat actors depending on the company, roles and responsibilities, and interests of the third-party. By compromising this infrastructure, threat actors can stage, launch, and execute an operation. Threat actors may utilize these systems for various tasks, including Execution and Exfiltration.