Faced with the hacking of its Starlink network, SpaceX is calling on cybersecurity experts to hack the system again to reveal its flaws. Up to $25,000 is offered.
When SpaceX learned that its Starlink satellite internet network had been easily hacked by a security researcher, SpaceX might have been offended. Instead, Elon Musk’s company not only invited other experts to reveal flaws in their system, but also offered to pay them up to $25,000 for it.
It all started when a certain Lennert Wouters demonstrated that he had hacked into Starlink using a homemade device that cost no more than $25. A researcher from the Sonic group (computer security and industrial encryption) at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, the latter presented his findings during the “Black Hat”, which gathered cyber security actors in Los Angeles, from August 6 to 11.
We are hiring! If you are a bad engineer and love space, please check out https://t.co/Z6ha1EtgYE
— Christopher Stanley (@cstanley) 11 August 2022
The researcher said he hacked a Starlink terminal, the box each subscriber was given to receive SpaceX satellite internet. In a press release, Elon Musk’s company thanked him for his research, deeming it “the technically impressive attack” and useful as it participates “in creating the best possible product”.
With that in mind, SpaceX has called for “responsible safety researchers” to follow Lennert Wouters’ lead. By exposing Starlink’s flaws, they will allow the company to improve network security. “Our engineers are constantly trying to hack into our own systems, but we always welcome help,” the company writes.
To motivate the troops, the company founded by Elon Musk does not hesitate to promise “monetary rewards” to those who find and report “vulnerabilities”. A “bug bounty” program has been set up that offers $100 to $25,000 in rewards, according to Business Insider.
Citing “various security positions” and “all kinds of exciting opportunities,” the press release suggests that those who want to flush out Starlink’s mistakes might even be able to claim a more permanent role at SpaceX, challenging them: “Join the team !”