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Home > Events > Invited Talks > 2023 > Advancing Automated Penetration Testing of Space Mission Protocols

Stephan Havermans

Thursday, November 23, 2023

11:00am 302-Mountain View and Zoom4 (, password:@s3)

Stephan Havermans, MSc, Università di Trento

Advancing Automated Penetration Testing of Space Mission Protocols


This study investigates the security landscape of space mission protocols, examining standards set by the Consultative Committee of Space Data Systems (CCSDS) and the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS). The analysis reveals a common reliance on security through obscurity rather than the incorporation of robust security features. The research introduces TMTC Sec Kit, a toolkit designed for CCSDS and ECSS space mission protocols. With parsing and crafting capabilities, the toolkit exposes potential vulnerabilities in spacecraft communications traffic, showcasing the ability to compromise confidentiality in space link communication. TMTC Sec Kit’s parsing function discerns and displays parsed TC or TM Transfer Frames, unveiling details about traffic origin and protocol stack. The crafting feature enables the construction of valid TM or TC specific to a mission. Rigorous testing of these features in a controlled environment emulating real space mission infrastructure has provided a foundation for future automated security testing research in the space domain.