T.S. shared this article, and it contains implications for the Trump Administration's emerging space force that I want to discuss today.

The war against space hackers: how the JPL works to secure its missions from nation-state adversaries

In a blog earlier this week I pointed out some possible implications of the splitting of commands between the Strategic Command and the Space Command, and that there are clear indicators that suggest a reorganization of black projects research may be in the works. But another aspect of the creation of a Space Force will be security, both of space-based assets, and of operational security. Additionally, I also pointed out Mr. John Greenewald's recent discoveries combing trough federal defense budgets, and his coming across contract requirements that required contractors to make extrapolations of long term technological development in propulsion and "spatial-temporal translation" not based on "updates" to public technology, implies an exotic technological component to all of this.

With this context of earlier blogs this week in mind, now consider the following statements from this article:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory designs, builds, and operates billion-dollar spacecraft. That makes it a target. What the infosec world calls Advanced Persistent Threats — meaning, generally, nation-state adversaries — hover outside its online borders, constantly seeking access to its “ground data systems,” its networks on Earth, which in turn connect to the ground relay stations through which those spacecraft are operated.

Their presumptive goal is to exfiltrate secret data and proprietary technology, but the risk of sabotage of a billion-dollar mission also exists. Over the last few years, in the wake of multiple security breaches which included APTs infiltrating their systems for months on end, the JPL has begun to invest heavily in cybersecurity.

I talked to Arun Viswanathan, a key NASA cyber security researcher, about that work, which is a fascinating mix of “totally representative of infosec today” and “unique to the JPL’s highly unusual concerns.” The key message is firmly in the former category, though: information security has to be proactive, not reactive.


Successful missions can last a very long time, so the JPL has many archaic systems, multiple decades old, which are no longer supported by anyone; they have to architect their security solutions around the limitations of that ancient software. Unlike most enterprises, they are open to the public, who tour the facilities by the hundred. Furthermore, they have many partners, such as other space agencies, with privileged access to their systems.

All that … while being very much the target of nation-state attackers. Theirs is, to say the last, an interesting threat model.


With the model, ad hoc queries such as “could someone in the JPL cafeteria access mission-critical servers?” can be asked, and the reasoning engine will search out pathways, and itemize their services and configurations. Similarly, researchers can work backwards from attackers’ goals to construct “attack trees,” paths which attackers could use to conceivably reach their goal, and map those against the model, to identify mitigations to apply.

Or to boil all this down to two simple propositions: (1) no cyber system is secure, and (2) this opens the possibility that space-based hard assets such as satellites, including weapons platforms, could be hacked, and literally either "turned off" or - worse - taken over by a hostile power, and turned against their owner(s). Now, put those two propositions against the backdrop of the speculation I advanced earlier this week, that one of the implications of the splitting of the Space Command from Strategic Command is that the weapons platforms of the latter are approaching obsolescence, and that newer and much more exotic and destructive strategic offensive weapons platforms might be one reason for the command split. After all, if you're going to "defend" against asteroids, and shunt them aside or destroy them, then the weapons platforms to do so would be extraordinarily powerful (rods of God, x ray or gamma ray  lasers, and so on), and capable of being turned against targets on the Earth. But those weapons have to be pointed and aimed, and that's done by computer programs, communications, and so on, all of which can be jammed, or hacked.

This consideration by the nature of the case has to be a fundamental and principal concern, a high priority for any future space force. Indeed, it's considerations such as these that might be behind the requirement that contractors be able to extrapolate in an "out-of-the-box" manner about the long term arc of military science and technology. Consider Robert Hasting's crucial research into the nature of UFO sightings near nuclear weapons bases and missile silos. Mr. Hasting's book, UFOs and NukesExtraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites (see his website: recounts two such incidents, one at an American ICBM base, and one at a Soviet ICBM base, at the height of the Cold War. In the American case, a UFO was seen near a flight of ICBMs, and apparently reprogrammed the targeting programs of the flight, effectively demonstrating a capability to re-target hydrogen bombs. In the Soviet case, a flight of ICBMs was actually made to begin the launch count, which was then cancelled at the last moment, much to the relief of the Soviet crews.

To put all this "country simple," the fact that this type of work is being done may be understood that the Space Force is not some passing plaything; it's a deadly reality, and that all possibilities are being considered...

... only this time, we may not be playing the game of Mutually Assured Destruction with Russians...

See you on the flip side...


36 thoughts on “JPL AND SPACE HACKING…”

  1. Robert, thank you for the link to Engdahl from

    I was vaguely familiar with Fink and Carney before. It’s curious that Carney is comfortable saying that we will see 4C temperature rise and 9M sea level rise in that the narrative he needs to work over the next 5, 10 and 20 years will not be hindered by being so blatantly wrong on these counts.

    Reminded of Paul Erlich and all in the 60’s declaring a population bomb and an ice age killing us all by now.

    1. Robert Barricklow

      Hard to fathom out the lies and misdirection in this Green con job.

      Chemtrails are warming the Earth; as is the cyclical Sun.

      A Florida-size Thwaites Glacier is melting due to a recently discovered unusually warm ocean current beneath it. Thwaites and an adjacent glacier are holding back ice, that if melted, would raise global sea levels by about 10 feet.
      Who knows?

      1. Robert Barricklow

        Yet, it looks like “they’re” purposely reengineering the Earth; while clothing it in an electric computerized, sensorized skin. Plus madly killing the biosphere of life by leaps and bounds; feigning an ignorance, that’s frankly, beyond belief.

        Cui bono?

    2. ZDB, the ‘problem’ is that there are two counteracting ‘inputs’ :

      Milankovitch Cycles describe the changes in Earth’s natural orbital oscillations (precession, the obliquity, and the eccentricity cycles) on its climate over thousands of years. By those effects (which are corroborated by the Vostok Ice Core data), we finished-up the last 10,000-year-long Interglacial Period around 1000-2000 years ago and are in the early slippage into the next 100,000-year-long Ice Age. These numbers are all approximate, based on at least four complete glaciation cycles.

      On the opposite hand, we have any heating caused by human activities (including any deep-state meddling). Arctic ice is thinning and retreating. Many sea-level glaciers are melting. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point on the African continent, is losing its ancient glaciers. Global changes are happening.

      The key is that both these ‘inputs’ are counteracting . Right now, it looks like man-made inputs are slightly outweighing Nature’s inputs. Convert us over to solar/hydro/wind and it may balance. Knock humanity back to the Bronze Age, and the next Ice Age may be upon us…

      (If you want another killer mechanism, see here: )

  2. Curious. Has anyone a clue why youtube is censoring all VPRO documentaries on Iceland from anyone in the US?
    The Whistleblower | Iceland | VPRO Documentary
    Video unavailable
    The uploader has not made this video available in your country.

    And any ways to get around this?

      1. I looked. Have not seen it yet. Then again bitc hute is not the searchiest idea online. And my searches are getting poochier daily. Curious what Robert Epstein’s remedy is going to be when folk realize their searches have been customized for a decade and are only now becoming more openly hostile.

    1. You can use a VPN to get around it; I like Windscribe. Pretty reliable and they give you a free monthly bandwidth allotment.

  3. At this stage I have to ask two related question(s)–both based on Secretary Fitt’s observations regarding the shift of all debts to the US government and the assets to “Mr. Global” on the balance sheet. Does this mean that FASAB 56 now represents the firewall separating two very different economies running in parallel, with one of each of these agencies held as the upper tier interface for one of these economies? Now that FASAB 56 is in place and the balance sheet rearranged, would “Mr. Global” opt to run the “black budget” off of the financial Babylonian system where the value of the monetary unit is based on the productivity of the system, whereas in the public system, the existing financial model is the backbone–public debt? If so, it seems to me the choice of the Space Command belongs to the “Mr. Global” side of the equation as it consolidates the “new ocean” as their central center of power. After all, its the Space Command where one finds the possibility of reaping huge dividends in asteroid mining operations…

    1. A two-system approach is already evident. The “black budget” and MIC get unlimited funds, while the public gets hammered. On the latter, it may even be intentional. When you are in hardscrabble-existence mode, it is hard to make/take the extra time to connect the dots…

    2. Robert Barricklow

      Love the embedded curve ball!

      But the system is still:
      privatize the profits/ownership;
      social the debts/liabilities.
      From my perspective “they” want two space systems; like they have now. One, a breakaway one that takes ET home.
      Two, an expensive “back-of-book” one that lags behind.

      This system, expanded into the future leads to some interesting scenarios.

    3. Robert Barricklow


      Your keen observations have been very much on my mind. I too have suspected that the international cartels[Mr. Global] want to dominate space through the ownership of the cutting edge technologies pipeline; from creative ideas to the drawing boards[analogue security?] to the production[3D?]. This would one important link in their command chain of the other “secret” space program.
      Is FASAB a new beginning link in that division of financial powers between Nation State/Federal Reserve financial powers? How is that expressed in both analogue and/or digital spreadsheets?
      Because, it is in the beginning roots that the foundations of strength are being formed structurally.
      Then there are the belief systems; which must be equally, if not more powerful in the cadets[again, digital/android and or analogue/human?
      Glad your question sparked that aspect of futures being fraught 4th[A play on God telling Moses to come fourth. But Moses came 5th, and God lost $250/ancient joke]

  4. Robert Barricklow

    Just an aside.
    Amazon is the gift that just keeps taking away,
    whatever you still have left.
    Went to “buy” Fire In The Minds of Men; normally they send the prosumer[that’s the word for you these days, as in the digital world you become both producer and consumer ate once] to buy an e-book.
    This time Amazon’s page sent me to “rent” the book.
    Yep, renting is non ownership w/penalties and fees galore. I had to skirt around to find a way to buy/own.
    Monopolies? What’s not to like about them?

    Now there’s a new way to “hack” ownership: rent.
    A Rentier economy; whether you want it, or not.

      1. that is why I only ‘borrow’. I miss out, but they also have yet to do a desktop app. for Linux to rent or buy.

    1. Robert Barricklow

      Another aside? Yes. I just googled “Kirkus Reviews”. Normally I scroll down past the “Google Ad” to a link on several listings down the chain. But, no links were provided for in those other choices. Only google’s ad had the link. So I type Kirkus address in the address bar. It took, but was put on the slow boat to China. After several minutes I finally clicked on Googles ad for Kirkus. Immediate! Presto, I’m there.
      Platform monopolies?
      What are they good for?

  5. If you want security it’s back to the future manual typewriters and good old pencil-pen and paper. Maybe fire clay tablets if you want more permanent records.

    1. And archeologists thought the Sumerian scribes were primitive with their fired clay tablets. They had just been hacked enough by the Anunnaki and so resorted to uncrackable (sorry) media…

  6. Excellent photo/picture of depth perception in perspective. Densify these things called space/time/matter/energy and one will change the outlook of perception. Figuratively speaking, of course, so long as the lexicon and symbology of expression keeps up with that which IS.

    It seems more a matter of keeping up with the Other Jones’ out and about. Back-engineering what is probably not allowed might have proven more time consuming and expensive than what was first arrogantly assumed probable. The idea that previous humankind-based technology and the scripted works associated with it could be enhanced no doubt led to further exotica in engineering and manufacturing. Seeing that Others were more than capable, demonstrably capable, allowed thinkers and planners [fill in your favorite backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics here_________ to begin] to think innovatively and entrepreneurially. That is not to say reach parity with what still mystifies the fastest synapses walking around. Boasting of parity might be easy with this lengthy, linear, and imprecise language (what I call language conundrum), but it’s still a bit much to assume no matter the gifted orator.

    Omnidirectional threats remain current regardless of the pursuits of prayer, peace, and power or good intentions. One tends to agree, security, in all manner and form, needs to be proactive not excuse laden reactive. That path is more efficient and effective.

    Consider the diversity among humankind that remains a work in progress and more tilted toward fictional publishing. Again, that lengthy, linear, and imprecise language conundrum will have its effect and more often than not, its way. Almost as if a force unto its own Being to sway and encourage.

    Exfiltration was suggested. Better late than never. It’s not hopeless. That leaves management of the damage done. Damage control. Where did “Scotty” say he was going? Mr O’Brien would certainly be welcomed. Better make way for those enthusiastic cadets and apprentices, there’s a lot to catch up with and do. It’s unfortunate that knowing is not proof.

  7. Between the corpo talk which is city complicated seemingly having spokesthings talk like they already have been infiltrated by somebody else’s AI, and MSM reporting on a daily basis apparently dropped on us without any checking for grammar… like this one this morning..
    “Road access between will continue to be restricted or close(sic)”
    “The following streets may close”
    I don’t know what to think. and is Viswanathan code for a respected member of the mafia’s name… VisaNathan would be neater. How about corpo-complicated for “I’ve got diarrhea”
    “Subject’s secondary waste products are periodically subject to violent expulsions containing above normal saturation of fluid components leading to frequent and urgent relocation of the decomposited bodies to the nearest convenient exit facilities in a just in time or less timeframe. Sources fear that the increasing AI involvement in such facilities could lead one day to an incident compromising the President’s ability to handle such a situation…In the event of system failure and a sufficiently energetic projectile event, combined with a counterrotating ceiling fan, catastrophic effects might arise when the PP (Presidents projectiles) might hit the maximum altitude in the contained facility. The effect of this are to date unknown”

  8. Robert Barricklow

    Black projects are going live-in-action; at least those currently still terrestrially located.
    The pipeline from idea to drawing board to sailing the black seas of space is being reshaped/retooled, for both profits and monopolies; space territorie$ and space patent$.
    One aspect will be methods to employ bringing current future technologies down-to-speed; then making steps to bring that technology where is currently exists. In other words; how to shape/tool a timeline so the future technologies that already exist can bridge the gap as-soon-as-possible.[and be monopolized by the “its who you know” business practice.
    W/all the systems infiltrated by various intelligence agencies; weeding out the compromised from the rogue from the patriots is no small task.
    A secure-analogue-chain is the preferred method of security, when possible.

    Whose in control of space assets?
    The nation State under whose name their developed and deployed? Or, the international money/intelligence[$] cartel who assassinated and blackmailed their way to control?

    When you consider AI; whose writing those programs?
    AI themselves? Which generation of AI’s are now writing the space algorithms?

    OH! What an entangled quantum fluctuation!
    Will it take a 64-qubit Rigetti computer to fathom it out?

    And how to have two space programs; where one remains superior both in technologies and power projection?

    Where will the cadets loyalties lie?
    Nation State? International cartel[s]?
    Or, even Earth herself?

    White Rabbit

  9. Not really necessary to look for little green men when two corporations and one particularly arrogant nation-state have already essentially hacked the planet with embedded technology within their programming and CPU’s. The Russians understood this years ago when they went back to using manual typewriters. These people are anything but our friends.

  10. The lesson of Battlestar Galactica, Mk2 is that digital communications can be hacked – by any more-advanced culture, human or not – and the consequence may be the fall of your civilization. There is a reason for keeping man-in-the-loop…

    If you want to get Outland-ish (sorry), a spindle-shaped ‘asteroid’ just made a reconnaissance pass into the inner solar system. It stayed unpowered to mask its arrival and departure – until it got far-enough out to turn-on its engines. (Subsequently, the PTB proclaimed it to be a ‘natural’ object and named it `Oumuamua.) It is departing with a treasure-trove of digital interconnections…

    1. Probably be an invasion in March, then! Now this virus makes sense, lol. The off worlders are softening us up before the invasion! But not to worry; I hear our common cold is deadly to every other form of off worlder in the Universe and is why our planet has been off limits. These invaders must have not gotten the memo and thus must be from another dimension!

    2. Reminded of that mapping truck sent though every neighborhood picking up on every network and blamed on one rogue admin at go ogle.

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