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Starlink Got Hacked And SpaceX's Response Was Incredible
Lennert Wouters, a security researcher from Belgium, was able to hack into Starlink's network, as well as its communication links, and explore the entire system freely. He didn’t do it maliciously, and before he talked about the hack in public, he made sure to report it to Starlink in full — and SpaceX’s response was nothing short of incredible.
SpaceX congratulated Wouters on his achievement, inducted him into its bug hunting hall of fame, and presumably paid him through its dedicated bug bounty program, although the amount hasn’t been disclosed. SpaceX also responded with a six-page paper, inviting other hackers: “Starlink welcomes security researchers (bring on the bugs)."
Wouters’ hack fell into the physical versus remote category, as he needed to physically open up the dish, access the electronics, and wire in his components in order to subvert the system. While serious, SpaceX pointed out this kind of breach is low-impact and affirmed that one piece of compromised equipment should not affect the entire network.
Remote hacks are far more concerning, but this time around, SpaceX insists, "normal Starlink users do not need to be worried about this attack affecting them, or take any action in response.” There's no way to use this particular exploit to remotely affect a Starlink connection, or indeed the satellites that SpaceX has been launching over the past few years.