The space sector faces an increasing threat from cyberattacks by nation-states, underscoring the critical importance of supply chain security.


Every component of a spacecraft [1], from the sheet metal to the smallest part, undergoes rigorous scrutiny to ensure its origin and integrity. This is because nation-state attacks on spacecraft pose significant risks [1], whether for damaging rival countries or engaging in cyber-espionage [1]. A notable example of such an attack occurred in February 2022, when Russia targeted Viasat’s KA-SAT satellites during its invasion of Ukraine [1]. BAE Systems Digital Intelligence encountered a situation where they had to alter their purchasing plans for cameras due to national security concerns [1]. They discovered that a Chinese company was the fifth-party supplier and made the decision to change suppliers to mitigate potential disastrous consequences. Neil Sherwin-Peddie of BAE Systems Digital Intelligence emphasized the importance of avoiding compromises from suppliers [2].


The increasing threat of cyberattacks on the space sector by nation-states highlights the critical need for supply chain security. The example of Russia’s attack on Viasat’s satellites during the Ukraine invasion serves as a stark reminder of the potential risks involved. To mitigate these risks, companies like BAE Systems Digital Intelligence must carefully evaluate their suppliers and make necessary changes to ensure the integrity and security of their components. The implications of compromised supply chains in the space sector can have far-reaching consequences, making it imperative to prioritize and strengthen supply chain security measures in the future.