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SpaceX will pay to hack the Starlink network

SpaceX has said anyone can hack into its Starlink satellite network and is willing to pay them up to $25,000 to find specific vulnerabilities. The message came after cybersecurity specialist Lennert Wouters toldthat he was able to successfully hack into a Starlink terminal using a $25 chip. Wouters said his attack could render Starlink terminals unusable and allow arbitrary code to run on them.

SpaceX, in turn, congratulated Wouters on his successful hacking attempt in a six-page document entitled “Starlink Welcomes Security Researchers (Find Bugs)”. “We find the attack technically impressive, and this is the first such attack that we are aware of on our system,” the document says. However, the hack carried out by Wouters using a homemade chip should not worry Starlink users as it will not have a direct impact on the satellites, SpaceX added.

In-house engineers are always trying to hack Starlink to improve service and make the network more secure, according to a SpaceX document. Security researchers can conduct their own testing, and if they find a vulnerability and report it, they will be able to receive a monetary reward, the company notes. The award ranges from $100 to $25,000. But SpaceX has conditions: bug hunting must not disrupt user services, physical attacks on large-scale infrastructure are prohibited, as well as email spoofing (forgery of the sender’s address in emails).

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