Compromise Ground System: 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.

ID: IA-0007.02
Sub-technique of:  IA-0007
Related Aerospace Threat IDs:  SV-AC-1 | SV-MA-7
Related MITRE ATT&CK TTPs:  T1078
Created: 2022/10/19
Last Modified: 2022/12/08


ID Name Description NIST Rev5
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. AC-3(11) AC-3(13) AC-3(15) AC-6 AT-2 AT-2(2) AT-2(4) AT-2(5) AT-2(6) AU-10 AU-12 AU-13 AU-6 AU-7 CA-7 IA-12 IA-12(1) IA-12(2) IA-12(3) IA-12(4) IA-12(5) IA-12(6) IA-4 IR-2(3) IR-4 IR-4(6) IR-4(7) MA-7 MP-7 PE-2 PM-12 PM-14 PS-3 PS-4 PS-5 PS-8 RA-10 SC-38 SC-7 SI-4 SR-11(2)
CM0054 Two-Person Rule Utilize a two-person system to achieve a high level of security for systems with command level access to the spacecraft. Under this rule all access and actions require the presence of two authorized people at all times. AC-3(13) AC-3(15) AC-3(2) IA-12 IA-12(1) IA-12(2) IA-12(3) IA-12(4) IA-12(5) IA-12(6) PE-3
CM0033 Relay Protection Implement relay and replay-resistant authentication mechanisms for establishing a remote connection or connections on the spacecraft bus. AC-17(10) AC-17(10) IA-2(8) IA-3 IA-3(1) IA-4 IA-7 SC-13 SC-23 SC-7 SC-7(11) SC-7(18) SI-10 SI-10(5) SI-10(6) SI-3(8)
CM0055 Secure Command Mode(s) Provide additional protection modes for commanding the spacecraft. These can be where the spacecraft will restrict command lock based on geographic location of ground stations, special operational modes within the flight software, or even temporal controls where the spacecraft will only accept commands during certain times. AC-17(1) AC-17(10) AC-2(11) AC-2(12) AC-3 AC-3(2) AC-3(3) AC-3(4) AC-3(8) CA-3(7) SC-7 SI-3(8)
CM0005 Ground-based Countermeasures This countermeasure is focused on the protection of terrestrial assets like ground networks and development environments/contractor networks, etc. Traditional detection technologies and capabilities would be applicable here. Utilizing resources from NIST CSF to properly secure these environments using identify, protect, detect, recover, and respond is likely warranted. Additionally, NISTIR 8401 may provide resources as well since it was developed to focus on ground-based security for space systems ( Furthermore, the MITRE ATT&CK framework provides IT focused TTPs and their mitigations Several recommended NIST 800-53 Rev5 controls are provided for reference when designing ground systems/networks. AC-1 AC-10 AC-11 AC-11(1) AC-12 AC-12(1) AC-14 AC-16 AC-16(6) AC-17 AC-17(1) AC-17(10) AC-17(2) AC-17(3) AC-17(4) AC-17(6) AC-17(9) AC-18 AC-18(1) AC-18(3) AC-18(4) AC-18(5) AC-19 AC-19(5) AC-2 AC-2(1) AC-2(11) AC-2(12) AC-2(13) AC-2(2) AC-2(3) AC-2(4) AC-2(9) AC-20 AC-20(1) AC-20(2) AC-20(3) AC-20(5) AC-21 AC-22 AC-3 AC-3(11) AC-3(13) AC-3(15) AC-3(4) AC-4 AC-4(23) AC-4(24) AC-4(25) AC-4(26) AC-4(31) AC-4(32) AC-6 AC-6(1) AC-6(10) AC-6(2) AC-6(3) AC-6(5) AC-6(8) AC-6(9) AC-7 AC-8 AT-2(4) AT-2(4) AT-2(5) AT-2(6) AT-3 AT-3(2) AT-4 AU-10 AU-11 AU-12 AU-12(1) AU-12(3) AU-14 AU-14(1) AU-14(3) AU-2 AU-3 AU-3(1) AU-4 AU-4(1) AU-5 AU-5(1) AU-5(2) AU-5(5) AU-6 AU-6(1) AU-6(3) AU-6(4) AU-6(5) AU-6(6) AU-7 AU-7(1) AU-8 AU-9 AU-9(2) AU-9(3) AU-9(4) CA-3 CA-3(6) CA-3(7) CA-7 CA-7(1) CA-7(6) CA-8 CA-9 CM-10(1) CM-11 CM-11(2) CM-11(3) CM-12 CM-12(1) CM-14 CM-2 CM-2(2) CM-2(3) CM-2(7) CM-3 CM-3(1) CM-3(2) CM-3(5) CM-3(7) CM-3(7) CM-3(8) CM-4 CM-5(1) CM-5(5) CM-6 CM-6(1) CM-6(2) CM-7 CM-7(1) CM-7(2) CM-7(3) CM-7(5) CM-7(8) CM-7(8) CM-7(9) CM-8 CM-8(1) CM-8(2) CM-8(3) CM-8(4) CM-9 CP-10 CP-10(2) CP-10(4) CP-2 CP-2(2) CP-2(5) CP-2(8) CP-3(1) CP-4(5) CP-8 CP-8(1) CP-8(2) CP-8(3) CP-8(4) CP-8(5) CP-9 CP-9(1) CP-9(2) CP-9(3) IA-11 IA-12 IA-12(1) IA-12(2) IA-12(3) IA-12(4) IA-12(5) IA-12(6) IA-2 IA-2(1) IA-2(12) IA-2(2) IA-2(5) IA-2(6) IA-2(8) IA-3 IA-3(1) IA-4 IA-4(9) IA-5 IA-5(1) IA-5(13) IA-5(14) IA-5(2) IA-5(7) IA-5(8) IA-6 IA-7 IA-8 IR-2 IR-2(2) IR-2(3) IR-3(3) IR-4 IR-4(1) IR-4(11) IR-4(11) IR-4(12) IR-4(13) IR-4(14) IR-4(3) IR-4(4) IR-4(5) IR-4(6) IR-4(7) IR-4(8) IR-5 IR-5(1) IR-6 IR-6(1) IR-7 IR-7(1) MA-2 MA-3 MA-3(1) MA-3(2) MA-3(3) MA-4 MA-4(1) MA-4(3) MA-4(6) MA-4(7) MA-5(1) MA-6 MA-7 MP-2 MP-3 MP-4 MP-5 MP-5(4) MP-6 MP-6(3) MP-7 PE-3(7) PL-10 PL-11 PL-8 PL-8(1) PL-8(2) PL-9 PL-9 PM-11 PM-16(1) PM-17 PM-30 PM-30(1) PM-31 PM-32 RA-10 RA-3(1) RA-3(2) RA-3(2) RA-3(3) RA-3(4) RA-5 RA-5(10) RA-5(11) RA-5(2) RA-5(4) RA-5(5) RA-7 RA-9 RA-9 SA-10 SA-10(1) SA-10(7) SA-11 SA-11(2) SA-11(9) SA-15 SA-15(3) SA-15(7) SA-17 SA-2 SA-22 SA-3 SA-3(1) SA-3(2) SA-3(2) SA-4 SA-4(1) SA-4(10) SA-4(12) SA-4(2) SA-4(3) SA-4(5) SA-4(7) SA-4(9) SA-5 SA-8 SA-8(14) SA-8(15) SA-8(18) SA-8(21) SA-8(22) SA-8(23) SA-8(24) SA-8(9) SA-9 SA-9(1) SA-9(2) SA-9(6) SA-9(7) SC-10 SC-12 SC-12(1) SC-12(6) SC-13 SC-15 SC-16(2) SC-16(3) SC-18(1) SC-18(2) SC-18(3) SC-18(4) SC-2 SC-2(2) SC-20 SC-21 SC-22 SC-23 SC-23(1) SC-23(3) SC-23(5) SC-24 SC-28 SC-28(1) SC-28(11) SC-28(3) SC-3 SC-38 SC-39 SC-4 SC-45 SC-45(1) SC-45(1) SC-45(2) SC-49 SC-5 SC-5(1) SC-5(2) SC-5(3) SC-50 SC-51 SC-7 SC-7(10) SC-7(11) SC-7(12) SC-7(13) SC-7(14) SC-7(18) SC-7(21) SC-7(25) SC-7(29) SC-7(3) SC-7(4) SC-7(5) SC-7(5) SC-7(7) SC-7(8) SC-7(9) SC-8 SC-8(1) SC-8(2) SC-8(5) SI-10 SI-10(3) SI-10(6) SI-11 SI-14(3) SI-16 SI-19(4) SI-2 SI-2(2) SI-2(3) SI-2(6) SI-21 SI-3 SI-3 SI-3(10) SI-4 SI-4(1) SI-4(10) SI-4(11) SI-4(12) SI-4(13) SI-4(14) SI-4(15) SI-4(16) SI-4(17) SI-4(2) SI-4(20) SI-4(22) SI-4(23) SI-4(24) SI-4(25) SI-4(4) SI-4(5) SI-5 SI-5(1) SI-6 SI-7 SI-7(1) SI-7(17) SI-7(2) SI-7(5) SI-7(7) SI-7(8) SR-1 SR-1 SR-10 SR-11 SR-11 SR-11(1) SR-11(2) SR-11(3) SR-12 SR-2 SR-2(1) SR-3 SR-3(1) SR-3(2) SR-3(2) SR-3(3) SR-4 SR-4(1) SR-4(2) SR-4(3) SR-4(4) SR-5 SR-5 SR-5(1) SR-5(2) SR-6 SR-6(1) SR-6(1) SR-7 SR-7 SR-8 SR-9 SR-9(1)
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)
CM0035 Protect Authenticators Protect authenticator content from unauthorized disclosure and modification. AC-3(11) IA-4(9) IA-5
CM0053 Physical Security Controls Employ physical security controls (badge with pins, guards, gates, etc.) to prevent unauthorized access to the systems that have the ability to command the spacecraft. CA-3(6) CA-8 CA-8(3) PE-2 PE-2(1) PE-2(3) PE-3 PE-3(1) PE-3(2) PE-3(3) PE-3(5) PE-3(7) SC-12(6) SC-51 SC-8(5) SR-11(2)
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
CM0032 On-board Intrusion Detection & Prevention Utilize on-board intrusion detection/prevention system that monitors the mission critical components or systems and audit/logs actions. The IDS/IPS should have the capability to respond to threats (initial access, execution, persistence, evasion, exfiltration, etc.) and it should address signature-based attacks along with dynamic never-before seen attacks using machine learning/adaptive technologies. The IDS/IPS must integrate with traditional fault management to provide a wholistic approach to faults on-board the spacecraft. Spacecraft should select and execute safe countermeasures against cyber-attacks.  These countermeasures are a ready supply of options to triage against the specific types of attack and mission priorities. Minimally, the response should ensure vehicle safety and continued operations. Ideally, the goal is to trap the threat, convince the threat that it is successful, and trace and track the attacker — with or without ground support. This would support successful attribution and evolving countermeasures to mitigate the threat in the future. “Safe countermeasures” are those that are compatible with the system’s fault management system to avoid unintended effects or fratricide on the system. AU-14 AU-2 AU-3 AU-3(1) AU-4 AU-4(1) AU-5 AU-5(2) AU-5(5) AU-6(1) AU-6(4) AU-8 AU-9 AU-9(2) AU-9(3) CA-7(6) CM-11(3) CP-10 CP-10(4) IR-4 IR-4(11) IR-4(12) IR-4(14) IR-4(5) IR-5 IR-5(1) RA-10 RA-3(4) SA-8(21) SA-8(22) SA-8(23) SC-16(2) SC-32(1) SC-5 SC-5(3) SC-7(10) SC-7(9) SI-10(6) SI-16 SI-17 SI-3 SI-3(8) SI-4 SI-4(1) SI-4(10) SI-4(11) SI-4(13) SI-4(16) SI-4(17) SI-4(2) SI-4(23) SI-4(24) SI-4(25) SI-4(4) SI-4(5) SI-6 SI-7(17) SI-7(8)


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