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Researchers Use Decommissioned Satellite to Broadcast Hacker TV


Illustration of a satellite in Earth orbit.

The researchers turned an unidentified commercial uplink facility (a station with a special powered dish to communicate with satellites) into a command center for broadcasting from the satellite.

Credit: 3DSculptor/Getty Images

Karl Koscher and colleagues in the Shadytel telecommunications and embedded device hacking group used a decommissioned Canadian satellite to broadcast a livestream to the Northern Hemisphere, underscoring concerns about hackers accessing disused satellites moved to a "graveyard orbit."

At the recent ShmooCon security conference, Koscher explained how they transformed an unidentified commercial uplink facility into a command center for satellite broadcasting.

Although they had permission to access the uplink facility and satellite, Koscher emphasized the lack of controls against this on most satellites: "If you can generate a strong enough signal to make it there, the satellite will send it back down to the Earth. People would need a big dish and a powerful amplifier and knowledge of what they were doing."

From Ars Technica
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