Faced with the hacking of its Starlink network, SpaceX calls on cybersecurity experts to hack the system in turn to reveal its flaws. Up to $25,000 is offered.
Learning that its Starlink satellite Internet network had been easily hacked by a security researcher, SpaceX could have been offended. Instead, Elon Musk’s company not only encouraged other experts to reveal flaws in its 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 results during the “Black Hat”, which brought together cybersecurity players in Los Angeles, from August 6 to 11.
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The researcher said he hacked a Starlink terminal, the box provided to each subscriber to receive SpaceX satellite internet. In a press release, Elon Musk’s company thanked him for his research, judging “the technically impressive attack” and useful, since it participates “in creating the best possible product”.
With that in mind, SpaceX has encouraged “responsible security 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’re always happy to accept 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, offering $100 to $25,000 in rewards, according to Business Insider.
Referring to “various security positions” and “all kinds of exciting opportunities”, the press release suggests that those who will flush out the flaws of Starlink may even be able to claim a more permanent role within SpaceX, which challenges them: ” Come join the team!”