Satellite piracy: a decades-old practice | technology

It sounds more like science fiction, or a James Bond movie, but it’s a real thing that’s been going on for years and years. Despite the fact that they float hundreds of kilometers away, on Earth we have the tools to enter satellites without first asking permission.

Hacking a satellite and using it to send a broadcast across the country sounds like something out of a spy movie, but it’s actually something you can do in your spare time. And the sky is full of satellites.

You might also think that the equipment needed to do this activity is a NASA computer, but the truth is that You just need a computer (whatever it is) and access to a link station with the satellite.

Of course, don’t think that you can hijack a government satellite, these have more security than Alcatraz prison (at the time), what matters to them is access to thousands of satellites that have been abandoned over the past decades.

As you well know, hackers are the ethical team, and hackers are the bad guys, so the term hacking is not always negative. Some ethical hackers search for software vulnerabilities in an effort to find the exploits and report them to the developer before the hackers.

Some do it for fun, either privately, in small groups, or in gatherings known as hackathons. Others make a living like this. Tech companies like Google often offer huge rewards to hackers who manage to hack their software.

For satellite hacking, it can also be legal if the requirements are met. Even after they are turned off, the satellites still belong to someone. If the landlord finds out what you did, you could be in legal trouble.

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In addition, there is a complete list of regulations accompanying the operation and use of satellites. So, even if the owner of the satellite does not care, you can meet with the US Federal Communications Commission.

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Looking back, satellites have been hacked for decades. In the 1980s, HBO viewers planning to enjoy a night of entertainment received a letter from Captain of the hackers who hijacked the broadcast.

According to the New York Times,Instead of “The Hawk and the Snowman” there was a message printed on the channel’s test card that read: “HBO Good Night from Captain Midnight. $12.95 a month? No way. (Watch out for the movie channel)“.

HBO’s East Coast broadcasts were disrupted by the hack, and its vice president at the time, David Pritchard, said his company had been threatened with sabotage in the months leading up to the incident.

Captain Midnight was eventually caught and disguised as John McDougall, an electrical engineer and owner of the satellite dish business who was upset that HBO had added a monthly fee for his services. McDougall was fined $5,000.

The problem may also be much worse than interrupting a five-minute movie. As mentioned Washington PostAnd the The US Congress is increasingly concerned about the dangers posed by satellite hackers.

In addition to disabling communicationsHackers could theoretically orchestrate an attack that would smash two satellites into each other or crash into the International Space Station. For this reason, be careful when hacking into a satellite, don’t go to pick one you shouldn’t.

Terry Alexander

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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