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Starlink too easy to hack? SpaceX launches $25,000 bug bounty


SpaceX’s satellite Internet network, Starlink, is far too easy to hack according to a Belgian computer security researcher, whom the company thanks for his work. As a result of her discoveries, she even launched a hacker compensation program.

From August 6 to 11, 2022, the Black Hat, a major annual meeting devoted to cybersecurity, was held in Los Angeles. On this occasion, Lennert Wouters, researcher member of the computer security group of the Belgian University of Leuven, demonstrated that he was able to benefit from a free Internet connection via the Starlink satellite network by modifying the SpaceX connection kit, which only cost him $25.

It inevitably attracted the attention of the access provider, knowing that the company sells its connection kit for $600 and markets its monthly access for $100. Especially since, according to the IT researcher, the Starlink hardware is quite easy to hack and the level of protection of the company’s systems is insufficient.

In a press release, Starlink congratulates Lennert Wouters for his work and his discoveries. Needless to say that Starlink engineers will look into the problem in order to correct the flaws exploited by the researcher as soon as possible. Better still, given its alarmist conclusions, Starlink announced that it was launching a vast “bug bounty” program, aimed at discovering other security problems on its infrastructure.

This reward program provides checks of up to $25,000 per bug discovered, depending on their severity. Thus, the SpaceX subsidiary hopes to quickly be able to improve the security of its services. The company says it wants to add additional layers of security within its Starlink kit, to better protect its network and its users. All information regarding this “bug bounty” is available on BugCrowd.

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