US Air Force launches $50,000 satellite hacking challenge
Hack-a-Sat challenge will kick off on 22 May and is open to ethical hackers worldwide
The US Air Force is offering $50,000 to help shore up its satellite cyber security as part of an online challenge called Hack-A-Sat.
The event, which kicks off on 22 May with a final round set for August, has been developed in partnership with the US Defense Digital Service, the digital arm of the Department of Defense.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the hackathon has been moved entirely online and aims to help improve cyber security safeguards ahead of the Pentagon's rollout of a satellite constellation network later this year.
The Hack-A-Sat challenge is open to hackers around the world and will begin with a 48-hour 'Capture the Flag' first-round. Participants will be given a set of challenges in one of several categories on a Jeopardy-style board. The first team to solve a challenge has the ability to unlock the next challenge in any given category, with each solved challenge resulting in the competitor retrieving a 'flag'. 'Redemption' of this flag by another team results in points being awarded to the challenger.
The final will be contested from 7 to 9 August where the top three constants will have the chance to attempt to hack a virtualized satellite and win $50,000, with $30,000 awarded to second and $20,000 for third.
"The democratization of space has opened up a new frontier for exploration and innovation," the Hack-A-Sat website reads. "But with this opportunity, new cyber security vulnerabilities are also being created. One human can design, build and launch a satellite, adhering to very few standards and security protocols. So how can we achieve safe, reliable and trustworthy operations to truly realize the promise of space? ...by hacking a satellite."
The event takes place at the virtual Aerospace Village at DEFCON, which will also host workshops for satellite hacking and avionics.
The complete guide to changing your phone system provider
Optimise your phone system for better business resultsDownload now
Simplify cluster security at scale
Centralised secrets management across hybrid, multi-cloud environmentsDownload now
The endpoint as a key element of your security infrastructure
Threats to endpoints in a world of remote workingDownload now
2021 state of IT asset management report
The role of IT asset management for maximising technology investmentsDownload now