In May, Musk said that Russia was intensifying its attempts to disrupt the Starlink internet service in Ukraine. Now, a researcher has managed to hack Elon Musk’s Starlink system with a $25 homemade device.
A $25 home-made device was used by a cyber-security researcher to break into the Elon Musk-operated Starlink satellite-based internet network, reports Business Standard.
Lennert Wouters, a security researcher from Belgium, unveiled the first-ever hacking of satellite dishes or user terminals for Starlink that are installed in homes and other structures.
Wouters used a home-made circuit board, or modchip, that cost about $25 to manufacture to effectively breach the Starlink internet system at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, according to Wired.
In order to breach the dish and investigate the Starlink network, Wouters used a voltage fault injection attack on a Starlink User Terminal (UT).
Based on a tweet previewing the presentation that he claimed was delivered through a rooted Starlink UT, he created the modchip using inexpensive, off-the-shelf components and was able to use it to gain root access “by glitching the Starlink UT security operations centre bootrom.”
“Our attack results in an unfixable compromise of the Starlink UT and allows us to execute arbitrary code. The ability to obtain root access on the Starlink UT is a prerequisite to freely explore the Starlink network,” according to the security researcher.
Wouters informed SpaceX about the flaw via its bug bounty system.
In order to deliver internet in remote areas, Musk’s Starlink has deployed more than 3,000 small satellites into orbit since 2018. The constellation of low-Earth-orbiting satellites from SpaceX is dubbed Starlink.
The satellites and gateways that transfer connections up to the satellites make up the other two of the system’s three essential parts, together with Starlink’s UT.
In May, Musk said that Russia was intensifying its attempts to disrupt the Starlink internet service in Ukraine.
He mentioned that up to this point, Starlink had prevented any cyberattacks from Russia.