Prevent Downlink: Jam Link Signal

Threat actors may overwhelm/jam the downlink signal to prevent transmitted telemetry signals from reaching their destination without severe modification/interference, effectively leaving ground controllers unaware of vehicle activity during this time. Telemetry is the only method in which ground controllers can monitor the health and stability of the spacecraft while in orbit. By disabling this downlink, threat actors may be able to stop mitigations from taking place.

ID: DE-0002.02
Sub-technique of:  DE-0002
Related Aerospace Threat IDs:  SV-AV-1
Related MITRE ATT&CK TTPs:  T1464
Created: 2022/10/19
Last Modified: 2022/12/08


ID Name Description NIST Rev5
CM0002 COMSEC A component of cybersecurity to deny unauthorized persons information derived from telecommunications and to ensure the authenticity of such telecommunications. COMSEC includes cryptographic security, transmission security, emissions security, and physical security of COMSEC material. It is imperative to utilize secure communication protocols with strong cryptographic mechanisms to prevent unauthorized disclosure of, and detect changes to, information during transmission. Systems should also maintain the confidentiality and integrity of information during preparation for transmission and during reception. Spacecraft should not employ a mode of operations where cryptography on the TT&C link can be disabled (i.e., crypto-bypass mode). The cryptographic mechanisms should identify and reject wireless transmissions that are deliberate attempts to achieve imitative or manipulative communications deception based on signal parameters. AC-17(1) AC-17(10) AC-17(10) AC-17(2) AC-18(1) AC-2(11) AC-3(10) IA-4(9) IA-5 IA-5(7) IA-7 SA-8(18) SA-9(6) SC-10 SC-12 SC-12(1) SC-12(2) SC-12(3) SC-12(6) SC-13 SC-13(1) SC-13(2) SC-16(3) SC-28(1) SC-28(3) SC-7 SC-7(10) SC-7(11) SC-7(18) SC-7(5) SI-10 SI-10(3) SI-10(5) SI-10(6) SI-19(4) SI-3(8)
CM0034 Monitor Critical Telemetry Points Monitor defined telemetry points for malicious activities (i.e., jamming attempts, commanding attempts (e.g., command modes, counters, etc.)). This would include valid/processed commands as well as commands that were rejected. Telemetry monitoring should synchronize with ground-based Defensive Cyber Operations (i.e., SIEM/auditing) to create a full space system situation awareness from a cybersecurity perspective. AC-17(1) AU-3(1) CA-7(6) IR-4(14) SC-7 SI-3(8)
CM0070 Alternate Communications Paths Establish alternate communications paths to reduce the risk of all communications paths being affected by the same incident. CP-8(3) SC-47
CM0029 TRANSEC Utilize TRANSEC in order to prevent interception, disruption of reception, communications deception, and/or derivation of intelligence by analysis of transmission characteristics such as signal parameters or message externals. Note: TRANSEC is that field of COMSEC which deals with the security of communication transmissions, rather than that of the information being communicated. AC-18(5) CP-8 SC-40 SC-40(1) SC-40(3) SC-40(4) SC-5 SC-8(4)


  • 2011 Report to Congress of the U.S.-CHINA Economic and Security Review Url: Retrieved 08/07/2019
  • Franzen, Carl: China Hacks US NASA Satellites November 16 2011
  • Cappaccio, Tony and Bliss, Jeff: China Suspected in Attacks on U.S. Satellities October 27 2011