Cyber security researcher hacks Elon Musk-run Starlink system

Starlink Hacked through $25 Home Device

A cyber security researcher hacked Starlink’s satellite-based internet system, which is backed by Elon Musk, using only a $25 homemade device.

Lennert Wouter, a Belgian cyber security researcher uncovered the first ever hacking of the user terminals of Starlink or satellite dishes installed at homes and buildings.

According to the reports, the researcher successfully hacked the Starlink internet system at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, US, using a homemade circuit board or say modchip that cost approx $25 to make.

Furthermore, he revealed a voltage fault in the Starlink User Terminal (UT) that permitted him to access the dish and explore the Starlink network.

According to a tweet commenting on the presentation, Wouter developed the low-cost modchip using off-the-shelf parts and was able to gain root access by faulting the Starlink UT security operations center boot room.

The cyber security researcher said that Their attack resulted in a not-fixable settlement of the Starlink UT and allowed them to implement arbitrary code. The ability to achieve root access on the Starlink UT is a provision to freely explore the Starlink network. He also concerned about the vulnerability of SpaceX because of its bug bounty program.

Since 2018, Starlink which is run by Elon Musk has launched around 3000 small satellites into orbit that has provided internet to remote locations. Starlink is a low Earth orbit satellite constellation of SpaceX.

The Starlink system has three main components and Starlink UT is one of them. The other two components of the Starlink system are the satellites and gateways that transmit connections to the satellites.

In May, Elon Musk founder of Tesla, said that Russia is boosting its efforts to jam the internet services provided by Starlink in Ukraine. He highlighted that Starlink has prevented all the cyberattacks coming from Russia.

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