An economic method for spying on satellite internet has now surfaced online. All of this is possible with mere home TV equipment pricing around $300.
Spying On Satellite Internet
Researchers have devised a new strategy for spying on satellite internet traffic. Sharing the details in the recent Black Hat USA 2020, they revealed that anyone with mere home television equipment could intercept satellite internet traffic to snoop into the data.
Doing so became possible because of some security vulnerabilities in satellite internet traffic. As explained by James Pavur, the study analyzed real-world threats to communication protocols DVB-S MPE and DVBS-2 GSE.
All it took to intercept satellite traffic was a mere $300 equipment that includes a satellite dish and a digital video broadcasting satellite tuner. Then upon identifying the exact orbiting point of a geo-orbital satellite and directing the dish towards the point, an adversary could connect to the traffic. Recording this data with a signal-recording tool would then allow analyzing the logged traffic. That too, from any location without fearing detection.
The entire procedure isn’t trivial because satellite internet is not encrypted. While the ISPs employ this for fast data transmission to long distances, the data remains unsecured.
What Makes The Attack Crucial?
Satellite internet is presently empowering communication in different sectors. Hence, such attacks on satellite internet traffic made all these industries vulnerable to spying. In fact, an adversary could also hijack sessions over satellite links.
According to the researcher,
From home satellite broadband customers to wind farms, to oil tankers, to aircraft, satellite eavesdropping represents a critical threat to privacy and communications security.
Before going public with this study, the researcher shared the details with the relevant ISPs as part of responsible disclosure. Hence, the study did not affect the integrity of the data sniffed.
Nonetheless, to prevent such attacks, the researcher urges to improve network security as satellite communications gain more customers.
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