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U.S. Intel Officials on High Alert for Foreign Infiltration of U.S. Commercial Space Industry


On Wednesday, new reports revealed that the United States intelligence community is on high alert for spies looking to infiltrate America's commercial space sector via cyberattacks and strategic investments to access critical infrastructure.

According to reports, the counterintelligence officials' advisory said American space companies must be on high alert for "unusually high cyber activity," requests to visit company facilities, and attempts to recruit insiders and investment offers.

"Foreign intelligence entities (FIEs) recognize the importance of the commercial space industry to the U.S. economy and national security, including the growing dependence of critical infrastructure on space-based assets," the advisory said in a public state.

"They see U.S. space-related innovation and assets as potential threats as well as valuable opportunities to acquire vital technologies and expertise."

The counterintelligence officials; new advisory said the commercial space sector could help prevent threats through widespread reviews of their security practices, ensuring that company lawyers, information technology workers, and human resource offices are working together.

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center, FBI, and Air Force Office of Special Investigations did not name the foreign adversaries; however, experts note that China and Russia are known to be the most active threats to the American commercial space industry.

Classified materials allegedly shared online by National Guard Airman Jack Teixeira, who pleaded not guilty to federal felony charges in June, have indicated that China is working on a cyber weapon to take out enemy satellites.

The advisory said that initiatives to prevent foreign spies include developing an "anomaly log" that can "track peculiar incidents to potentially spot malicious trends against your organization" and "establish an insider threat program within your organization."

The Biden administration said it has watched Russia conducting destructive cyberattacks against the American commercial space sector.

Last year, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. found Russia using cyberattacks against commercial satellite communications to disrupt the Ukrainian government's control networks as Moscow invaded Ukraine.

In a public statement last year, Sec. Blinken said, "the activity disabled very small aperture terminals in Ukraine and across Europe."

"This includes tens of thousands of terminals outside of Ukraine that, among other things, support wind turbines and provide internet services to private citizens," he added.

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