International space security researchers qualify for the 3rd annual Hack-A-Sat competition organized by the USSF and USAF – SatNews


The third yearbook Hack-A-Sat The qualifying round took place virtually May 21-22, with more than 800 teams and 2,500 individual security researchers working on a series of space-related cybersecurity challenges to win cash prizes and entry to the closing event.

Organized by the US Air Force and US Space Forcesalong with space and cybersecurity partners, Hack A Sat 3 is an opportunity for a global community of security researchers to hack and learn in an open and collaborative online environment with the goal of improving the security and resilience of space systems.

qualifying round
Successful teams brought with them various cyber and space skills during the qualifying round, including reverse engineering, forensics, cryptography, satellite communications, space systems architectures, quaternions and orbital mechanics. The following top eight teams from the qualifying round earned their place in the finals:

  1. Poland can go into space – Poland
  2. perfect blue – USA
  3. world EVERYTHING! – Germany
  4. Solar wine – France
  5. SingleEventUpset – US
  6. 0Organizers – Switzerland
  7. Samurai – United States
  8. SpaceBitsRUs – United States

These finalists include several returning teams from previous years’ Hack-A-Sat events, including Poland Can Into Space, WeltALLES!, SingleEventUpset and Samurai, as well as Solar Wine, the winning team from the last event. The 10 highest-scoring teams will each receive a $10,000 cash prize for the qualifying event, while the 40 highest-scoring teams will receive non-cash prizes.

Once again we witnessed another amazing turnout for this year’s qualifying roundsaid Brig. Gen. Timothy A Sejba, Program Executive Officer for Space Domain Awareness and Combat Power; and PEO for Battle Management Command, Control and Communications, Space Systems Command. “This event brought together some of the best hacking talents in the world to solve unique challenges in hopes of making it to the Hack-A-Sat 3 (HAS3) finale. Hack-A-Sat continues to push the boundaries in hopes of making space more cybersecure.”

The Hack-A-Sat 3 finals will take place virtually on October 22-23 and will feature an Attack/Defense style capture the flag (CTF) competition that uses digital twin technology to accurately simulate real-world space hardware and software. The event will award cash prizes to the top three placing teams as follows:

$50,000 in first place
$30,000 second place
$20,000 Third place

The organizers plan to host next year Hack A Sat 4 as the the world’s first CTF hacking competition in space. Instead of a physical flatsat or a virtual digital twin, Hack-A-Sat 4 will use an orbiting satellite named moonlighting, which is currently being developed and built to advance the cybersecurity community. Moonlighter is scheduled to launch on International Space Station (ISS) replenishment mission in summer 2023.

Hack-A-Sat organizers are bringing a mix of workshops, lectures and demonstrations to the Aerospace Village DEF CONT August 11-14 in Las Vegas, Nevada. These posts are intended to support and stimulate the burgeoning interest of the hacker community in the field of aerospace security.

That Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfare technologies for our air, space and cyberspace forces. With more than 11,500 employees in nine technology areas and 40 additional operations around the world, AFRL offers a diverse portfolio of science and technology, ranging from basic research to advanced research and technological development.

Headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, Space Systems Command is the U.S. Space Force field command responsible for the rapid development, acquisition, equipment, deployment, and maintenance of lethal and resilient space capabilities . SSC mission capability areas include launch acquisition and operations, communications and positioning, navigation and timekeeping, space acquisition, warfare command, control and communications, and space awareness and combat effectiveness.


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