SpaceX launches bug hunt for its Starlink service with $25,000 at stake

After a computer researcher hacked into Starlink, SpaceX invited hackers to flush out flaws in its internet supply service in order to strengthen its security.

A homemade $25 device was enough for Lennert Wouters to enjoy the Starlink service for free. SpaceX’s satellite internet access offer was particularly easy to hack for this computer security researcher.

During the high mass of cybersecurity, the Black Hat, which took place from August 6 to 11 in Los Angeles, Lennert Wouters presented a conference during which he evaluated the level of security of Starlink terminals. These devices are given to subscribers to be able to receive satellite internet from SpaceX.

Invite hackers to try their luck

The company thanked the researcher from the Sonic group (for Computer Security and Industrial Encryption) from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, in a press release. “We would like to congratulate Lennert Wouters for his research on the security of Starlink users’ terminals,” writes SpaceX, which immediately launched a bug hunt for its Starlink service.

The objective is to flush out computer flaws in the system. And this even though engineers are working on it internally. By inviting hackers to try their luck, SpaceX wants to speed up the security of its satellite internet supply offer.

“Ultimately, the only way for us to build a secure system is to assume attackers will eventually break into the Starlink kit, and add additional layers of defense-in-depth to protect our network and other users who compose it”, explains the company in its press release.

To motivate hackers to participate, the company promised rewards of up to $25,000 depending on the computer flaw discovered. The different sums involved are detailed on the BugCrowd site. This participative security platform makes it possible to financially reward people who have discovered bugs or flaws within websites or companies.

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