Hacking Satellites with $300 Worth of TV Gear

Published on Feb 26, 2021
This student discovered that satellite security isn’t as stable as one may expect. So he decided to hack one.

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Satellites are used for a wide variety of activities that most of us don't even recognize. From mobile phone networks to GPS capabilities, to a variety of IoT devices and operation of electrical grids, satellites are in control. Our global interconnectedness is deeply dependent on satellites — and they aren't as secure as we might expect them to be.

An exploitation of satellites’ weaknesses by hackers is not only possible, it’s probable. The US Air Force held a virtual version of the annual competition in 2020 at DEF CON, challenging hackers to reverse-engineer ground-based and on-orbit satellite system components to expose planted “flags” — or vulnerable software codes.

The idea is that the best defense can result in proactive offense. For researchers like James Pavur, a Rhodes Scholar and PhD candidate at Oxford University who focuses on satellite security, it's become his life's work to exploit and report potential vulnerabilities before hackers have the chance.

See the full article on satellite security here: https://www.freethink.com/videos/satellite-security

We created this story in partnership with Tomorrow Unlocked. Watch more stories of technology creating a better future on the Tomorrow Unlocked channel: http://freeth.ink/3oQe3IF

Up Next, Hacking Banks For Money: https://youtu.be/uaqK8ocxDco

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