SpaceX Encrypts Telemetry - Note Amateur Radio reference


Ron Adams
 

(March 28, 2021)
 
SpaceX appears to have encrypted its telemetry. Amateur radio users had been able to access the telemetry data streams because SpaceX had to tell the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) which frequencies it uses to communicate with its rockets.
 
Editor's Note

[Pescatore]
Looks like SpaceX had been encrypting telemetry communications on the Starship vehicles since 2018 or so but not the Falcon9s. But, technology advances are leading to a resurgence in commercial satellite networking, including mobile use. While all the hype is on 5G, increased use of satellite comms is likely to happen more quickly. End to end encryption should be built into all new satellite comms applications – as this article proves once again, satellite comms (like fiber optic comms) are not impossible to intercept and monitor. Security through obscurity does not work.

[Neely]
NASA has been pushing to encrypt telemetry across the board to increase the security and integrity of communications. The challenge is that existing probes/satellites/etc. have neither the compute power nor the storage to add encryption to their operations. Irrespective of frequency disclosure, security by obscurity is not a good model. Protect sensitive or proprietary information explicitly, design new systems with that capability and capacity rather than adding it later.

Read more in:
- www.slashgear.com
: SpaceX seemingly takes steps to protect telemetry data after leak


Greg Evans K5GTX ARRLNTX SEC
 

Interesting article. Thanks!

 

From: section@arrlntx.groups.io <section@arrlntx.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Adams
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 3:35 PM
To: section@arrlntx.groups.io
Subject: [ARRLNTX] SpaceX Encrypts Telemetry - Note Amateur Radio reference

 

(March 28, 2021)
 

SpaceX appears to have encrypted its telemetry. Amateur radio users had been able to access the telemetry data streams because SpaceX had to tell the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) which frequencies it uses to communicate with its rockets.
 

Editor's Note

[Pescatore]
Looks like SpaceX had been encrypting telemetry communications on the Starship vehicles since 2018 or so but not the Falcon9s. But, technology advances are leading to a resurgence in commercial satellite networking, including mobile use. While all the hype is on 5G, increased use of satellite comms is likely to happen more quickly. End to end encryption should be built into all new satellite comms applications – as this article proves once again, satellite comms (like fiber optic comms) are not impossible to intercept and monitor. Security through obscurity does not work.

[Neely]
NASA has been pushing to encrypt telemetry across the board to increase the security and integrity of communications. The challenge is that existing probes/satellites/etc. have neither the compute power nor the storage to add encryption to their operations. Irrespective of frequency disclosure, security by obscurity is not a good model. Protect sensitive or proprietary information explicitly, design new systems with that capability and capacity rather than adding it later.


Read more in:
www.slashgear.com
: SpaceX seemingly takes steps to protect telemetry data after leak