Intelligence Agencies Warn Foreign Spies Are Targeting U.S. Space Companies

Intelligence Agencies Warn Foreign Spies Are Targeting U.S. Space Companies

Chinese and Russian intelligence agencies are actively targeting American private space companies in an attempt to steal crucial technology and prepare cyberattacks that could disrupt U.S. satellite capabilities during conflicts or emergencies, warn U.S. intelligence agencies.

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center, along with the FBI and the Air Force, issued a new advisory directed at American companies, highlighting the potential threats posed by foreign intelligence services targeting the space sector.

The advisory warns that space companies’ intellectual property and data are vulnerable to cyberattacks, supply chain infiltration, and insider threats. The agencies emphasize that foreign intelligence entities recognize the significance of the commercial space industry to the U.S. economy and national security, and they view U.S. space innovations as both potential threats and opportunities to acquire valuable technology and expertise.

While the United States maintains its role in building and launching expensive reconnaissance and communications satellites, much of the country’s space innovation is being driven by commercial firms. These companies are crucial not only to innovation but also to the intelligence agencies’ capabilities, making them prime targets for espionage and attacks.

The advisory underscores the need for the space industry to enhance its security measures to guard against attempts by foreign intelligence agencies to infiltrate and compromise their operations. Since 2017, the U.S. Justice Department has charged individuals from China, Russia, and Iran in various schemes to steal space-related technology.

The concern extends to the potential impact of satellite disruption during conflicts, with the warning emphasizing the importance of protecting intellectual property, detecting breaches, and conducting due diligence on potential investors.

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