Hack a Starlink terminal for $25 – now we know it’s possible. Lennert Wouters, a security researcher at KU Leuven, has created a hacking device that can disrupt the terminal. The inventor presented his development at the Black Hat security conference. Moreover, he wants to make it available for others to copy, writes Wired.
To access the Starlink dish, Wouters created a modchip that can be attached to a satellite dish. He assembled the modchip, or special board, from off-the-shelf parts that cost a total of $25. The device can be used to access the McFlatface software and use it to cause a crash that will unlock previously locked parts of the Starlink system.
I am excited to announce that our talk "Glitched on Earth by humans" will be presented at @BlackHatEvents!
I will cover how we glitched the Starlink User Terminal SoC bootrom using a modchip to obtain root.
This might be the first tweet sent through a rooted Starlink UT! #BHUSA pic.twitter.com/0XMMIidEKk
— Lennert (@LennertWo) May 19, 2022
Wouters is reportedly now open-sourcing his development on GitHub. Previously, the researcher had already warned SpaceX about deficiencies in the protection of Starlink terminals, and the manufacturer responded by updating the system. However, Wouters says the only way to avoid the attack is to create a new version of the dish’s main chip.
Let us remind you that Starlink made a lot of enemies during the development of the project. In particular, China threatens to create weapons against satellites that would physically destroy them or hack their software.