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The Challenge of gathering intelligence from satellites communications

Satellite communications present a unique set of challenges for intelligence gathering, but they also present the opportunity to provide highly valuable insight into an adversary’s capabilities, operations and future intent.

The sheer volume of data that needs to be collected, filtered and analyzed makes satellite intercept difficult. Illegitimate traffic needs to be discounted, whilst information of interest needs to be collated and grouped with related content.

Vigilance Satellite Collect is a fully passive solution for the inspection of IP traffic from gateways over C, Ku, X or Ka-Band frequencies. It takes demodulated, decoded, and de-multiplexed streams and reconstructs IP sessions and content, such as email, attachments, web pages, VoIP and multimedia files, along with source and destination metadata.

Key Benefits of Vigilance Satellite Collect

Automatically enriches flow information with satellite and flock meta-data

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Network flows observed in the satellite streams are automatically annotated and enriched with satellite information such as: satellite name, orbital position, FEC and symbol rate for subsequent identification of orbital tracks and identities that yield the most SIGINT

Reconstructs images and other objects

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Extracts and reconstructs message content including web pages, images, video, audio, email and FTP sessions

Enhances legacy systems’ functionality

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Converts images to Base64 text for use on legacy equipment and stores flow information in JSON or CSV pairs

Helps identify devices and their location

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Detects ‘leaky’ text from observed network traffic to determine location and information about the transmitting device

Provides secure one-way data transfer

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Securely transfers data to other systems using NiFi or hardware diodes

How Satellite Collect Works

Vigilance Satellite Collect is compatible with C/Ku/X
or Ka-Band front-end collection systems and related
modems (e.g. DVB-S, DVB-S2). In addition, the system
permits simultaneous process PCAP traffic from
customer packet storage systems.

The system employs a flexible collection model that
can collect, analyze, and store all the demodulated and
decoded traffic. Alternatively, Vigilance Satellite Collect
can capture specific traffic that matches a Lucene/SQL
query for targeted collections. For example, traffic can
be analyzed, annotated, and stored from a particular
satellite, region or IP address block. Our flexible storage
model supports packet and metadata storage up to 36

Vigilance Satellite Collect correlates collected metadata
and content in order to determine both logical and
physical network topologies. For encrypted content, the
system uses numerous selector correlation techniques
to help determine users and devices. These include
the correlation of multiple so-called “soft selectors”
which when used in conjunction with time, location and
behavioral analytics have proven to be highly accurate.

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