U.S. intelligence officials organized a classified briefing on hacking threats facing satellite networks amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and issued temporary security clearances to executives of satellite operators for them to attend the event, Via Satellite reported Tuesday.
“It was a milestone moment,” Erin Miller, executive director of the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said of the clearances, also called “one-time read-on.”
“We had people who were not cleared who were invited to the discussion, people who would normally never have had access to that [classified] information,” Miller said during a May 13 panel discussion at a conference.
Kevin Coggins, vice president for positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) at Booz Allen Hamilton, said the briefing included the FBI and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. He also described the issuance of provisional clearances as “unprecedented.”
“The intelligence community said, ‘You have a need to know because you operate in the space domain. You might not have government contracts, but you’re part of Space ISAC and the space community, and we need you to know these classified threats and behaviors we’re seeing because we want you to be able to defend against them,'” said Coggins, who is also a Space ISAC board member.
Miller also discussed Space ISAC’s information-sharing efforts using the Traffic Light Protocol and how the center produced and transmitted machine-readable alerts to its members using Structured Threat Information eXpression and Trusted Automated eXchange of Intelligence Information as information sharing standards.