Summary

Though cyber attacks during flight can only be ground-based, it is nevertheless paramount to trust the on-board secrets, software and hardware the satellite will use to collect, process and transmit sensitive information to the ground, while also preserving their confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Indeed, the security of satellite communications is directly dependent on the level of trust one may have in the secrets that are used on board to perform the cryptographic operations like encryption, authentication or signature that can guarantee the confidentiality, integrity and authenticity of the information transmitted.

CYSEC ARCA Embedded is the on-board component of ARCA Space, the end-to-end security offering of CYSEC, also including ARCA on ground to host the MCS on prem or in the cloud. CYSEC ARCA Embedded is a secure On-Board Computer (OBC) capable to store sensitive data and perform critical operations on board. It includes:

  • A certified hardware root of trust used to securely inject the cryptographic secrets on ground before launch. Only a hardware root-of-trust can prevent hands-on attacks on the satellite during ground operations (integration, tests, transportation, launch).
  • A trusted operating system with a built-in cryptographic service including all standard cryptographic primitives as well as a pre-integrated key management system.
  • A secure boot mechanism that prevents any tampering on the operating system.
  • The ability to run fully isolated software applications, ideal for rideshare and satellite as a service platforms.
  • The ability to easily execute containerized applications using Docker or Kubernetes.
  • Industry-standard interfaces for an easy and fast integration.

CYSEC ARCA Embedded can either be used as the main OBC or as a security add-on dedicated to hosting secrets and performing sensitive applications like cryptographic operations.

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Last updated: 2021-05-07

ARCA Embedded: a secure OBC

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