Payload Communication Channel

Threat actors can deploy malicious software on the payload(s) which can send data through the payload channel. Payloads often have their own communication channels outside of the main TT&C pathway which presents an opportunity for exfiltration of payload data or other spacecraft data depending on the interface and data exchange.

ID: EXF-0010
Notional Risk (H | M | L):  21 | 17 | 12
Related Aerospace Threat IDs:  SV-SP-11
Related ESA SPACE-SHIELD TTPs:  T2021 | T2012 | T2018.001 | T2047
Created: 2022/12/08
Last Modified: 2023/08/08


ID Name Description NIST Rev5 D3FEND ISO 27001
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 AC-17(1) AC-17(10) AC-17(10) AC-17(2) AC-18 AC-18(1) AC-2(11) AC-3(10) CA-3 IA-4(9) IA-5 IA-5(7) IA-7 PL-8 PL-8(1) 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-16(3) SC-28(1) SC-28(3) SC-7 SC-7(10) SC-7(11) SC-7(18) SC-7(5) SC-8(1) SC-8(3) SI-10 SI-10(3) SI-10(5) SI-10(6) SI-19(4) SI-3(8) D3-ET D3-MH D3-MAN D3-MENCR D3-NTF D3-ITF D3-OTF D3-CH D3-DTP D3-NTA D3-CAA D3-DNSTA D3-IPCTA D3-NTCD D3-RTSD D3-PHDURA D3-PMAD D3-CSPP D3-MA D3-SMRA D3-SRA A.5.14 A.6.7 A.8.1 A.8.16 A.5.14 A.8.1 A.8.20 A.5.14 A.8.21 A.5.16 A.5.17 A.5.8 A.5.14 A.8.16 A.8.20 A.8.22 A.8.23 A.8.26 A.8.12 A.5.33 A.8.20 A.8.24 A.8.24 A.8.26 A.5.31 A.5.33 A.8.11
CM0030 Crypto Key Management Leverage best practices for crypto key management as defined by organization like NIST or the National Security Agency. Leverage only approved cryptographic algorithms, cryptographic key generation algorithms or key distribution techniques, authentication techniques, or evaluation criteria. Encryption key handling should be performed outside of the onboard software and protected using cryptography. Encryption keys should be restricted so that they cannot be read via any telecommands. PL-8 PL-8(1) SA-3 SA-4(5) SA-8 SA-9(6) SC-12 SC-12(1) SC-12(2) SC-12(3) SC-12(6) SC-28(3) SC-8(1) D3-CH D3-CP A.5.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.5.33 A.8.24
CM0031 Authentication Authenticate all communication sessions (crosslink and ground stations) for all commands before establishing remote connections using bidirectional authentication that is cryptographically based. Adding authentication on the spacecraft bus and communications on-board the spacecraft is also recommended. AC-14 AC-17 AC-17(10) AC-17(10) AC-17(2) AC-18 AC-18(1) IA-2 IA-3(1) IA-4 IA-4(9) IA-7 PL-8 PL-8(1) SA-3 SA-4(5) SA-8 SA-8(15) SA-8(9) SC-16 SC-16(2) SC-32(1) SC-7(11) SC-8(1) SI-14(3) D3-MH D3-MAN D3-CH D3-BAN D3-MFA D3-TAAN D3-CBAN A.5.14 A.6.7 A.8.1 A.5.14 A.8.1 A.8.20 A.5.16 A.5.16 A.5.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.5.33
CM0036 Session Termination Terminate the connection associated with a communications session at the end of the session or after an acceptable amount of inactivity which is established via the concept of operations. AC-12 SC-10 SI-14(3) D3-SDA A.8.20
CM0039 Least Privilege Employ the principle of least privilege, allowing only authorized processes which are necessary to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with system functions. Ideally maintain a separate execution domain for each executing process. AC-2 AC-3(13) AC-3(15) AC-4(2) AC-6 CA-3(6) CM-7 CM-7(4) CM-7(8) PL-8 PL-8(1) SA-17(7) SA-3 SA-4(9) SA-8 SA-8(13) SA-8(14) SA-8(15) SA-8(3) SA-8(4) SA-8(9) SC-2(2) SC-32(1) SC-49 SC-50 SC-7(29) D3-MAC D3-EI D3-HBPI D3-KBPI D3-PSEP D3-MBT D3-PCSV D3-LFP D3-UBA A.5.16 A.5.18 A.8.2 A.5.15 A.8.2 A.8.18 A.8.19 A.8.19 A.5.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28
CM0038 Segmentation Identify the key system components or capabilities that require isolation through physical or logical means. Information should not be allowed to flow between partitioned applications unless explicitly permitted by security policy. Isolate mission critical functionality from non-mission critical functionality by means of an isolation boundary (implemented via partitions) that controls access to and protects the integrity of, the hardware, software, and firmware that provides that functionality. Enforce approved authorizations for controlling the flow of information within the spacecraft and between interconnected systems based on the defined security policy that information does not leave the spacecraft boundary unless it is encrypted. Implement boundary protections to separate bus, communications, and payload components supporting their respective functions. AC-4 AC-4(14) AC-4(2) AC-4(24) AC-4(26) AC-4(31) AC-4(32) AC-4(6) AC-6 CA-3 CA-3(7) PL-8 PL-8(1) SA-3 SA-8 SA-8(13) SA-8(15) SA-8(18) SA-8(3) SA-8(4) SA-8(9) SC-16(3) SC-2(2) SC-3 SC-32(1) SC-39 SC-4 SC-49 SC-50 SC-6 SC-7(20) SC-7(21) SC-7(29) SC-7(5) SI-17 D3-NI D3-BDI D3-NTF D3-ITF D3-OTF D3-EI D3-HBPI D3-KBPI D3-MAC D3-RRID D3-EAL D3-EDL D3-IOPR D3-SCF A.5.14 A.8.22 A.8.23 A.5.15 A.8.2 A.8.18 A.5.14 A.8.21 A.5.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28
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. For example, jam-resistant waveforms can be utilized to improve the resistance of radio frequency signals to jamming and spoofing. Note: TRANSEC is that field of COMSEC which deals with the security of communication transmissions, rather than that of the information being communicated. AC-17 AC-18 AC-18(5) CA-3 CP-8 PL-8 PL-8(1) SC-16 SC-40 SC-40(1) SC-40(3) SC-40(4) SC-5 SC-8(1) SC-8(3) SC-8(4) D3-MH D3-MAN D3-MENCR D3-NTA D3-DNSTA D3-ISVA D3-NTCD D3-RTA D3-PMAD D3-FC D3-CSPP D3-ANAA D3-RPA D3-IPCTA D3-NTCD D3-NTPM D3-TAAN A.5.14 A.6.7 A.8.1 A.5.14 A.8.1 A.8.20 A.5.14 A.8.21 A.5.29 A.7.11 A.5.8 A.5.33


  • Derived from ESA SPACE-SHIELD T2021