University of Leuven researcher hacks SpaceX Starlink

The vulnerability allows hackers to freely explore the network and install malicious code. SpaceX has been notified and sent out a patch beforehand, but an entirely new chip may be the only solution to shutting down the leak.

Lennert Wouters, a researcher at KU Leuven, has created a hacking tool with which he can abuse Starlink terminals. He was able to assemble a modchip, a homemade printed circuit board, with commonly available components that cost a total of barely 25 euros.

He will later announce modchip details on GitHub so everyone can get started with it.

The modchip allows him to launch an attack at the Starlink station. Such an attack leads to errors (glitches) which he can exploit to make available a locked fragment. In it, he was able to run an arbitrary code for root access to the device and thus to the entire Starlink network.

The patch is available, but will that fix everything?

Wouters has SpaceX up and running most dangerous And he earned a good amount of money for his discovery. In the meantime, it has updated the station, but according to Wouters, this is not enough. He told Wired that the vulnerability can only be mitigated when SpaceX makes a new version of the master chip.

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Today, SpaceX has 3,009 satellites in space to provide an Internet connection to Starlink stations. It’s not clear at the moment how the manufacturer will react now that Wouters has shown his findings to the world at the Black Hat conference. He himself has no ambition to shut down Starlink, but hopes with his findings that the terminals will be better secured.

KU Leuven continues to record

KU Leuven is internationally known for its researchers. Just last week, two Belgian researchers managed to develop a technique to encrypt quantum data Crack in just one hour. Plus, they got the job done using a regular PC.

Within two years, NIST hopes to define a full set of standards for post-quantum cryptography. Falcon will already be a part of that.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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