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Satellite telecom vulnerable to hackers, researchers find

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Posted April 18, 2014
Federal Aviation Administration System Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, on August 12, 2002
Federal Aviation Administration System Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, on August 12, 2002
Security flaws in many satellite telecommunications systems leave them open to hackers, raising potential risks for aviation, shipping, military and other sectors, security researchers said Thursday.

A paper released by the security firm IOActive found “multiple high risk vulnerabilities” in all the satellite systems studied.

“These vulnerabilities have the potential to allow a malicious actor to intercept, manipulate, or block communications, and in some cases, to remotely take control of the physical device,” the report said.

Ruben Santamarta, author of the report, said he was concerned “because satellite communications are used in a variety of critical scenarios.”

Santamarta told AFP that most ships and aircraft use satellite communications, and in some cases military communications use these commercial satellite systems.

If the systems are compromised, he said, “for military communications, a foreign government or agency can target these devices and they can track the location of units and soldiers.”

For aircraft or ships, he said, an attacker “can spoof data” and either block or disrupt emergency communications.

Read more at: Phys.org

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