Belgian engineer Lennert Wouters hacked the Starlink signal receiving terminal using improvised tools. This is reported by Wired.
According to the expert, to gain access, he purchased a Starlink terminal and disassembled the satellite dish using a heat gun, hand tools worth about $25 and alcohol. The engineer removed the motherboard from the device and based on it printed a new one with a connected microcomputer.
“With the help of tools, you can try to create your own system that will allow you to communicate with satellites, but it is quite difficult,” the author noted. Shutting down and rebooting the terminal allowed it to access previously locked parts of the system, Wouters said. The enthusiast noted that hacking the satellite dish allowed him to better understand how the Starlink device works.
The specialist emphasized that the vulnerability he found allows you to hack literally any Starlink terminal – the problem can only be solved by replacing the chip. Lennert Wouters reported the SpaceX vulnerability in 2021, in return for discovering the problem, Elon Musk’s corporation paid the enthusiast a fee.
“We find this attack technically impressive, and this is the first such attack that we are aware of on our system,” SpaceX said of the vulnerability. The firm’s specialists clarified that the attacker needs physical access to the user’s terminal to carry out the attack.