Backdoor: Software

Threat actors may inject code to create their own backdoor to establish persistent access to the spacecraft. This may be done through modification of code throughout the software supply chain or through modification of the software-defined radio configuration (if applicable).

ID: PER-0002.02
Sub-technique of:  PER-0002
Notional Risk (H | M | L):  24 | 21 | 17
Related Aerospace Threat IDs:  SV-SP-1 | SV-SP-3 | SV-SP-9
Related MITRE ATT&CK TTPs:  T1195 | T1195.002
Created: 2022/10/19
Last Modified: 2022/12/08


ID Name Description NIST Rev5 D3FEND ISO 27001
CM0001 Protect Sensitive Information Organizations should look to identify and properly classify mission sensitive design/operations information (e.g., fault management approach) and apply access control accordingly. Any location (ground system, contractor networks, etc.) storing design information needs to ensure design info is protected from exposure, exfiltration, etc. Space system sensitive information may be classified as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or Company Proprietary. Space system sensitive information can typically include a wide range of candidate material: the functional and performance specifications, any ICDs (like radio frequency, ground-to-space, etc.), command and telemetry databases, scripts, simulation and rehearsal results/reports, descriptions of uplink protection including any disabling/bypass features, failure/anomaly resolution, and any other sensitive information related to architecture, software, and flight/ground /mission operations. This could all need protection at the appropriate level (e.g., unclassified, CUI, proprietary, classified, etc.) to mitigate levels of cyber intrusions that may be conducted against the project’s networks. Stand-alone systems and/or separate database encryption may be needed with controlled access and on-going Configuration Management to ensure changes in command procedures and critical database areas are tracked, controlled, and fully tested to avoid loss of science or the entire mission. Sensitive documentation should only be accessed by personnel with defined roles and a need to know. Well established access controls (roles, encryption at rest and transit, etc.) and data loss prevention (DLP) technology are key countermeasures. The DLP should be configured for the specific data types in question. AC-3(11) AC-4(23) AC-4(25) AC-4(6) CA-3 CM-12 CM-12(1) PL-8 PL-8(1) PM-11 PM-17 SA-3 SA-3(1) SA-3(2) SA-4(12) SA-5 SA-8 SA-9(7) SC-16 SC-8(1) SC-8(3) SI-21 SI-23 SR-12 SR-7 D3-AI D3-AVE D3-NVA D3-CH D3-CBAN D3-CTS D3-PA D3-FAPA D3-SAOR A.8.4 A.8.11 A.8.10 A.5.14 A.8.21 A.5.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.33 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 A.5.37 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.5.33 A.8.10 A.5.22
CM0009 Threat Intelligence Program A threat intelligence program helps an organization generate their own threat intelligence information and track trends to inform defensive priorities and mitigate risk. Leverage all-source intelligence services or commercial satellite imagery to identify and track adversary infrastructure development/acquisition. Countermeasures for this attack fall outside the scope of the mission in the majority of cases. PM-16 PM-16(1) PM-16(1) RA-10 RA-3 RA-3(2) RA-3(3) SA-3 SA-8 SR-8 D3-PH D3-AH D3-NM D3-NVA D3-SYSM D3-SYSVA A.5.7 A.5.7 6.1.2 8.2 9.3.2 A.8.8 A.5.7 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28
CM0020 Threat modeling Use threat modeling, attack surface analysis, and vulnerability analysis to inform the current development process using analysis from similar systems, components, or services where applicable. Reduce attack surface where possible based on threats. CA-3 CM-4 CP-2 PL-8 PL-8(1) RA-3 SA-11 SA-11(2) SA-11(6) SA-15(6) SA-15(8) SA-2 SA-3 SA-4(9) SA-8 D3-AI D3-AVE D3-SWI D3-HCI D3-NM D3-LLM D3-ALLM D3-PLLM D3-PLM D3-APLM D3-PPLM D3-SYSM D3-DEM D3-SVCDM D3-SYSDM A.5.14 A.8.21 A.8.9 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 A.5.2 A.5.29 A.8.1 A.5.8 6.1.2 8.2 9.3.2 A.8.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.8.29 A.8.30
CM0022 Criticality Analysis Conduct a criticality analysis to identify mission critical functions, critical components, and data flows and reduce the vulnerability of such functions and components through secure system design. Focus supply chain protection on the most critical components/functions. Leverage other countermeasures like segmentation and least privilege to protect the critical components. CP-2 CP-2(8) PL-8 PL-8(1) PM-11 PM-17 PM-30 PM-30(1) PM-32 RA-3 RA-3(1) RA-9 RA-9 SA-11 SA-15(3) SA-2 SA-3 SA-4(5) SA-4(9) SA-8 SA-8(3) SC-32(1) SC-7(29) SR-1 SR-1 SR-2 SR-2(1) SR-3 SR-3(2) SR-3(3) SR-5(1) SR-7 D3-AVE D3-OSM D3-IDA D3-SJA D3-AI D3-DI D3-SWI D3-NNI D3-HCI D3-NM D3-PLM D3-AM D3-SYSM D3-SVCDM D3-SYSDM D3-SYSVA D3-OAM D3-ORA 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 A.5.2 A.5.29 A.8.1 A.5.30 A.5.8 4.4 6.2 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 10.2 6.1.2 8.2 9.3.2 A.8.8 A.5.22 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.8.29 A.8.30 5.2 5.3 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 A.5.1 A.5.2 A.5.4 A.5.19 A.5.31 A.5.36 A.5.37 A.5.19 A.5.20 A.5.21 A.8.30 A.5.20 A.5.21 A.5.22
CM0004 Development Environment Security In order to secure the development environment, the first step is understanding all the devices and people who interact with it. Maintain an accurate inventory of all people and assets that touch the development environment. Ensure strong multi-factor authentication is used across the development environment, especially for code repositories, as threat actors may attempt to sneak malicious code into software that's being built without being detected. Use zero-trust access controls to the code repositories where possible. For example, ensure the main branches in repositories are protected from injecting malicious code. A secure development environment requires change management, privilege management, auditing and in-depth monitoring across the environment. AC-17 AC-18 AC-20(5) AC-3(11) AC-3(13) AC-3(15) CA-8 CM-11 CM-14 CM-2(2) CM-3(2) CM-3(7) CM-3(8) CM-4(1) CM-7(8) CM-7(8) CP-2(8) MA-7 PL-8 PL-8(1) PL-8(2) PM-30 PM-30(1) RA-3(1) RA-3(2) RA-5 RA-5(2) RA-9 SA-10 SA-10(4) SA-11 SA-11 SA-11(1) SA-11(2) SA-11(2) SA-11(4) SA-11(5) SA-11(5) SA-11(6) SA-11(7) SA-11(7) SA-11(7) SA-11(8) SA-15 SA-15(3) SA-15(5) SA-15(7) SA-15(8) SA-17 SA-3 SA-3 SA-3(1) SA-3(2) SA-4(3) SA-4(3) SA-4(5) SA-4(5) SA-4(9) SA-8 SA-9 SC-38 SI-2 SI-2(6) SR-1 SR-1 SR-11 SR-2 SR-2(1) SR-3 SR-3(2) SR-4 SR-4(1) SR-4(2) SR-4(3) SR-4(4) SR-5 SR-5 SR-5(2) SR-6 SR-6(1) SR-6(1) SR-7 D3-AI D3-AVE D3-SWI D3-HCI D3-NNI D3-OAM D3-AM D3-OM D3-DI D3-MFA D3-CH D3-OTP D3-BAN D3-PA D3- FAPA D3- DQSA D3-IBCA D3-PCSV D3-PSMD A.8.4 A.5.14 A.6.7 A.8.1 A.5.14 A.8.1 A.8.20 A.8.9 A.8.9 A.8.31 A.8.19 A.5.30 A.5.8 4.4 6.2 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 10.2 A.8.8 A.5.22 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.33 A.8.28 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.5.2 A.5.4 A.5.8 A.5.14 A.5.22 A.5.23 A.8.21 A.8.9 A.8.28 A.8.30 A.8.32 A.8.29 A.8.30 A.8.28 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.28 A.8.25 A.8.27 A.6.8 A.8.8 A.8.32 5.2 5.3 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 A.5.1 A.5.2 A.5.4 A.5.19 A.5.31 A.5.36 A.5.37 A.5.19 A.5.20 A.5.21 A.8.30 A.5.20 A.5.21 A.5.21 A.8.30 A.5.20 A.5.21 A.5.23 A.8.29 A.5.22 A.5.22
CM0007 Software Version Numbers When using COTS or Open-Source, protect the version numbers being used as these numbers can be cross referenced against public repos to identify Common Vulnerability Exposures (CVEs) and exploits available. AC-3(11) CM-2 SA-11 SA-5 D3-AI D3-SWI A.8.4 A.8.9 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 A.5.37 A.8.29 A.8.30
CM0010 Update Software Perform regular software updates to mitigate exploitation risk. Software updates may need to be scheduled around operational down times. Release updated versions of the software/firmware systems incorporating security-relevant updates, after suitable regression testing, at a frequency no greater than mission-defined frequency [i.e., 30 days]. Ideally old versions of software are removed after upgrading but restoration states (i.e., gold images) are recommended to remain on the system. CM-3(2) CM-3(7) CM-3(8) CM-4 CM-4(1) CM-7(4) SA-10(4) SA-11 SA-3 SA-8 SA-9 SI-2 SI-2(6) D3-SU A.8.9 A.8.9 A.8.9 A.8.31 A.8.19 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.5.2 A.5.4 A.5.8 A.5.14 A.5.22 A.5.23 A.8.21 A.8.29 A.8.30 A.6.8 A.8.8 A.8.32
CM0011 Vulnerability Scanning Vulnerability scanning is used to identify known software vulnerabilities (excluding custom-developed software - ex: COTS and Open-Source). Utilize scanning tools to identify vulnerabilities in dependencies and outdated software (i.e., software composition analysis). Ensure that vulnerability scanning tools and techniques are employed that facilitate interoperability among tools and automate parts of the vulnerability management process by using standards for: (1) Enumerating platforms, custom software flaws, and improper configurations; (2) Formatting checklists and test procedures; and (3) Measuring vulnerability impact. CM-10(1) RA-3 RA-5 RA-5(11) RA-5(3) SA-11 SA-15(7) SA-3 SA-4(5) SA-8 SI-3 D3-AI D3-NM D3-AVE D3-NVA D3-PM D3-FBA D3-OSM D3-SFA D3-PA D3-PSA D3-PLA D3-PCSV D3-FA D3-DA D3-ID D3-HD D3-UA 6.1.2 8.2 9.3.2 A.8.8 A.8.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.8.29 A.8.30 A.8.7
CM0012 Software Bill of Materials Generate Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) against the entire software supply chain and cross correlate with known vulnerabilities (e.g., Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) to mitigate known vulnerabilities. Protect the SBOM according to countermeasures in CM0001. CM-7(5) RA-5 CM-10 CM-10(1) CM-11 CM-11 CM-11(3) CM-2 CM-7(4) CM-8 CM-8(7) PM-5 RA-5(11) SA-10(4) SA-11 SA-3 SA-4(5) SA-8 SA-8(13) SA-9 D3-AI D3-AVE D3-SWI A.8.9 A.8.19 A.5.9 A.8.9 A.5.32 A.8.19 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.5.2 A.5.4 A.5.8 A.5.14 A.5.22 A.5.23 A.8.21 A.8.29 A.8.30
CM0013 Dependency Confusion Ensure proper protections are in place for ensuring dependency confusion is mitigated like ensuring that internal dependencies be pulled from private repositories vice public repositories, ensuring that your CI/CD/development environment is secure as defined in CM0004 and validate dependency integrity by ensuring checksums match official packages. CM-10(1) CM-11 CM-2 RA-5 SA-11 SA-3 SA-8 SA-8(9) SA-9 D3-LFP D3-UBA D3-RAPA D3-MAC A.8.9 A.8.19 A.8.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.5.2 A.5.4 A.5.8 A.5.14 A.5.22 A.5.23 A.8.21 A.8.29 A.8.30
CM0015 Software Source Control Prohibit the use of binary or machine-executable code from sources with limited or no warranty and without the provision of source code. CM-11 CM-14 CM-2 CM-4 CM-7(8) SA-10(4) SA-11 SA-3 SA-4(5) SA-4(9) SA-8 SA-9 D3-PM D3-SBV D3-EI D3-EAL D3- EDL D3-DCE A.8.9 A.8.9 A.8.19 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.5.2 A.5.4 A.5.8 A.5.14 A.5.22 A.5.23 A.8.21 A.8.29 A.8.30
CM0016 CWE List Create prioritized list of software weakness classes (e.g., Common Weakness Enumerations), based on system-specific considerations, to be used during static code analysis for prioritization of static analysis results. RA-5 SA-11 SA-11(1) SA-15(7) D3-AI D3-AVE A.8.8 A.8.29 A.8.30 A.8.28
CM0017 Coding Standard Define acceptable coding standards to be used by the software developer. The mission should have automated means to evaluate adherence to coding standards. The coding standard should include the acceptable software development language types as well. The language should consider the security requirements, scalability of the application, the complexity of the application, development budget, development time limit, application security, available resources, etc. The coding standard and language choice must ensure proper security constructs are in place. PL-8 PL-8(1) SA-11 SA-15 SA-3 SA-4(9) SA-8 D3-AI D3-AVE D3-SWI D3-DCE D3-EHPV D3-ORA D3-FEV D3-FR D3-ER D3-PE D3-PT D3-PS A.5.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.8.29 A.8.30 A.5.8 A.8.25
CM0018 Dynamic Analysis Employ dynamic analysis (e.g., using simulation, penetration testing, fuzzing, etc.) to identify software/firmware weaknesses and vulnerabilities in developed and incorporated code (open source, commercial, or third-party developed code). Testing should occur (1) on potential system elements before acceptance; (2) as a realistic simulation of known adversary tactics, techniques, procedures (TTPs), and tools; and (3) throughout the lifecycle on physical and logical systems, elements, and processes. FLATSATs as well as digital twins can be used to perform the dynamic analysis depending on the TTPs being executed. Digital twins via instruction set simulation (i.e., emulation) can provide robust environment for dynamic analysis and TTP execution. CA-8 CP-4(5) RA-3 RA-5(11) SA-11 SA-11(5) SA-11(8) SA-11(9) SA-3 SA-8 SC-2(2) SC-7(29) SI-3 SR-6(1) SR-6(1) D3-DA D3-FBA D3-PSA D3-PLA D3-PA D3-SEA D3-MBT 6.1.2 8.2 9.3.2 A.8.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.8.29 A.8.30 A.8.7
CM0019 Static Analysis Perform static source code analysis for all available source code looking for system-relevant weaknesses (see CM0016) using no less than two static code analysis tools. RA-3 RA-5 SA-11 SA-11(1) SA-11(4) SA-15(7) SA-3 SA-8 D3-PM D3-FBA D3-FEMC D3-FV D3-PFV D3-SFV D3-OSM 6.1.2 8.2 9.3.2 A.8.8 A.8.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.8.29 A.8.30 A.8.28
CM0021 Software Digital Signature Prevent the installation of Flight Software without verification that the component has been digitally signed using a certificate that is recognized and approved by the mission. AC-14 CM-11 CM-11(3) CM-14 CM-14 IA-2 SA-10(1) SA-11 SA-4(5) SA-9 SI-7 SI-7(12) SI-7(15) D3-CH D3-CBAN D3-FV D3-DLIC D3-EAL D3-SBV A.8.19 A.5.16 A.5.2 A.5.4 A.5.8 A.5.14 A.5.22 A.5.23 A.8.21 A.8.29 A.8.30
CM0023 Configuration Management Use automated mechanisms to maintain and validate baseline configuration to ensure the spacecraft's is up-to-date, complete, accurate, and readily available. CM-11(3) CM-2 CM-3(7) CM-3(8) CM-4 CM-5 MA-7 SA-10 SA-10(7) SA-11 SA-3 SA-4(5) SA-4(9) SA-8 SR-11(2) D3-ACH D3-CI D3-SICA D3-USICA A.8.9 A.8.9 A.8.9 A.8.9 A.8.2 A.8.4 A.8.9 A.8.19 A.8.31 A.8.3 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28 A.8.9 A.8.28 A.8.30 A.8.32 A.8.29 A.8.30
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) PL-8 PL-8(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) D3-FA D3-DA D3-FCR D3-FH D3-ID D3-IRA D3-HD D3-IAA D3-FHRA D3-NTA D3-PMAD D3-RTSD D3-ANAA D3-CA D3-CSPP D3-ISVA D3-PM D3-SDM D3-SFA D3-SFV D3-SICA D3-USICA D3-FBA D3-FEMC D3-FV D3-OSM D3-PFV D3-EHB D3-IDA D3-MBT D3-SBV D3-PA D3-PSMD D3-PSA D3-SEA D3-SSC D3-SCA D3-FAPA D3-IBCA D3-PCSV D3-FCA D3-PLA D3-UBA D3-RAPA D3-SDA D3-UDTA D3-UGLPA D3-ANET D3-AZET D3-JFAPA D3-LAM D3-NI D3-RRID D3-NTF D3-ITF D3-OTF D3-EI D3-EAL D3-EDL D3-HBPI D3-IOPR D3-KBPI D3-MAC D3-SCF A.8.15 A.8.15 A.8.6 A.8.17 A.5.33 A.8.15 A.8.15 A.5.29 A.5.25 A.5.26 A.5.27 A.5.8 A.5.7 A.8.12 A.8.7 A.8.16 A.8.16 A.8.16 A.8.16
CM0044 Cyber-safe Mode Provide the capability to enter the spacecraft into a configuration-controlled and integrity-protected state representing a known, operational cyber-safe state (e.g., cyber-safe mode). Spacecraft should enter a cyber-safe mode when conditions that threaten the platform are detected.   Cyber-safe mode is an operating mode of a spacecraft during which all nonessential systems are shut down and the spacecraft is placed in a known good state using validated software and configuration settings. Within cyber-safe mode, authentication and encryption should still be enabled. The spacecraft should be capable of reconstituting firmware and software functions to pre-attack levels to allow for the recovery of functional capabilities. This can be performed by self-healing, or the healing can be aided from the ground. However, the spacecraft needs to have the capability to replan, based on equipment still available after a cyber-attack. The goal is for the spacecraft to resume full mission operations. If not possible, a reduced level of mission capability should be achieved. Cyber-safe mode software/configuration should be stored onboard the spacecraft in memory with hardware-based controls and should not be modifiable.                                                  CP-10 CP-10(4) CP-12 CP-2 CP-2(5) IR-4 IR-4(12) IR-4(3) PL-8 PL-8(1) SA-3 SA-8 SA-8(10) SA-8(12) SA-8(13) SA-8(21) SA-8(23) SA-8(24) SA-8(3) SA-8(4) SC-16(2) SC-24 SC-5 SI-11 SI-17 SI-7(17) D3-PH D3-EI D3-NI D3-BA 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 A.5.2 A.5.29 A.8.1 A.5.29 A.5.25 A.5.26 A.5.27 A.5.8 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28
CM0014 Secure boot Software/Firmware must verify a trust chain that extends through the hardware root of trust, boot loader, boot configuration file, and operating system image, in that order. The trusted boot/RoT computing module should be implemented on radiation tolerant burn-in (non-programmable) equipment.  AC-14 PL-8 PL-8(1) SA-8(10) SA-8(12) SA-8(13) SA-8(3) SA-8(4) SC-51 SI-7(9) D3-PH D3-BA D3-DLIC D3-TBI A.5.8
CM0043 Backdoor Commands Ensure that all viable commands are known to the mission/spacecraft owner. Perform analysis of critical (backdoor/hardware) commands that could adversely affect mission success if used maliciously. Only use or include critical commands for the purpose of providing emergency access where commanding authority is appropriately restricted.  AC-14 CP-2 SA-3 SA-4(5) SA-8 SI-10 SI-10(3) SI-10(6) SI-3(8) D3-OAM D3-AM D3-PH D3-CCSA D3-LAM D3-CE 7.5.1 7.5.2 7.5.3 A.5.2 A.5.29 A.8.1 A.5.2 A.5.8 A.8.25 A.8.31 A.8.27 A.8.28