Space Systems Command’s Hack-A-Sat Competition Begins Registration Phase

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The U.S. Space Systems Command has kicked off the registration period for Hack-A-Sat, an annual satellite-hacking competition challenging security researchers to address cybersecurity obstacles in space technologies.

Hack-A-Sat is in its fourth year and will take place in both on-orbit and digital twin environments for the first time, SSC said Tuesday.

The competition was conceptualized by the U.S. Air Force, Space Force, and the security research community, and was previously held either in a physical laboratory hardware or in a digital twin platform.

For Hack-A-Sat 4, participants will experiment on the on-orbit satellite Moonlighter, which is targeted for launch in early summer. 

The event will start with a virtual qualification from April 1 to 2, and the top four teams will advance with last year’s winner to the final stage on Aug. 11 to 13.

“Space cybersecurity is a global issue, which is why it is important that Hack-A-Sat is open to the global security researcher community,” said Col. Kenneth Decker, SSC director of Engineering, Space Domain Awareness and Combat Power; and Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications. “By sharing our tools and knowledge, we encourage these talented individuals to understand the nuances in building space system resilience and to work in this ever-important domain.”

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