Researcher Colby Moore will be presenting findings related to a security issue with the Globalstar satellite network at Black Hat in Las Vegas next week. The researcher found that devices using the Globalstar network reportedly can be fed false data or have their data transmissions intercepted. The type of system Globalstar reportedly uses is “kind of fundamentally broken from the get-go,” according to Moore. That’s not the end of its problems, however.
Moore spokes to Reuters about the matter recently. Globalstar’s satellite network used by GPS devices reportedly does not encrypt device data being transmitted, instead transmitting with it a bunch of “inconsequential data” while changing frequencies to, in essence, muddy the waters.
If attackers figure out how to see through that method as Moore did, however, it poses a big security problem for users. Said Moore, “I ended up figuring out how to decode the data in transit.” This is part of a larger alleged architectural issue in which the network does not ensure that data is coming from the devices from which it claims to originate.
This flaw is said to be very difficult or possible impossible to patch, and the existing vulnerability leaves data open for interception and attack from any number of entities: government agencies and spies, hackers, organized crime units, and more, who could get a glimpse of what is going on and where.