NASA has discovered a flaw in its spacecraft, airplanes, and other systems that abuse a network protocol and hardware system known as time-triggered ethernet (TTE).
The TTE system is used to reduce network costs and improve efficiency and has been declared safe for over a decade. The system mainly allows mission-critical and less important devices to coexist on the same network hardware.
However, researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, and NASA recently introduced a dubbed attack called PCspooF to determine the impact in a real system.
As a part of the test, the team used real NASA hardware to simulate an Asteroid Redirection Test where the capsule was prepared to dock with a robotic spacecraft.
As per Michigan news, the team created a cascading effect that ended in the capsule veering off course and missing its dock entirely.
While a flaw was recognised, it can be easily corrected by ‘replacing copper Ethernet with fiber optic cables or installing optical isolators between switches and untrusted devices.’