Satel­lites could be hacked, ex­pert warns

Daily Trust - - IT WORLD -

Thou­sands of eth­i­cal hack­ers and se­cu­rity re­searchers gath­ered in Las Ve­gas last week to ad­dress some of the big­gest po­ten­tial threats to cy­ber­se­cu­rity.

At the Black Hat in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity con­fer­ence, re­searchers re­vealed how satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions could be used by hack­ers to launch ‘cy­ber-phys­i­cal at­tacks,’ es­sen­tially turn­ing their an­ten­nas into mas­sive mi­crowave ovens, ac­cord­ing to the Guardian.

And Def Con, one of the world’s largest hacker con­ven­tions, will serve as a lab for break­ing into vot­ing ma­chines, ex­tend­ing its ef­forts to iden­tify po­ten­tial se­cu­rity flaws in tech­nol­ogy that may be used in the Novem­ber U.S. elec­tions.

In a pre­sen­ta­tion build­ing off prior re­search, Ruben San­ta­marta of se­cu­rity firm IOAc­tive warned that the com­mu­ni­ca­tions used by ships, planes, and the mil­i­tary are vul­ner­a­ble to hack­ers.

‘The con­se­quences of these vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties are shock­ing,’ San­ta­marta said, ac­cord­ing to the Guardian.

‘Es­sen­tially, the the­o­ret­i­cal cases I de­vel­oped four years ago are no longer the­o­ret­i­cal.

‘We’re ba­si­cally turn­ing Sat­com de­vices into ra­dio fre­quency weapons,’ San­ta­marta said. ‘It’s pretty much the same prin­ci­ple be­hind the mi­crowave oven.’

Satel­lite sys­tems could also be used to leak in­for­ma­tion, the ex­pert said.

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