It's 2018 and I can still hack into sat-comms gear, sighs infosec dude | 8/10/2018 | Staff
Matty123 (Posted by) Level 3
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Black Hat Four years ago, IOActive security researcher Ruben Santamarta came to Black Hat USA to warn about insecurities in aircraft satellite-communication (SATCOM) systems. Now he’s back with more doom and gloom.

During a presentation at this year's hacking conference in Las Vegas this week, he claimed he had found a host of flaws in aircraft, shipping, and military satellite comms and antenna-control boxes that can be exploited to snoop on transmissions, disrupt transportation, infiltrate computers on military bases, and more – including possibly directing radio-transmission electronics to bathe fleshy humans in unhealthy amounts of electromagnetic radiation.

Principle - Microwave - Register - Flaws - Frequency

“It’s pretty much the same principle as a microwave oven,” he told The Register. “The flaws allow us to ramp up the frequency.”

The vulnerabilities stem from a variety of blunders made by SATCOM hardware manufacturers. Some build backdoors into their products for remote maintenance, which can be found and exploited, while other equipment has been found to be misconfigured or using hardcoded credentials, opening them up to access by miscreants. These holes can be abused by a canny hacker to take control of an installation's antenna, and monitor the information the data streams contain.

Airlines - US - Europe - Fleets - Internet

"Some of the largest airlines in the US and Europe had their entire fleets accessible from the internet, exposing hundreds of in-flight aircraft," according to Santamarta. "Sensitive NATO military bases in conflict zones were discovered through vulnerable SATCOM infrastructure. Vessels around the world are at risk as attackers can use their own SATCOM antennas to expose the crew to radio-frequency radiation."

Essentially, think of these vulnerable machines as internet-facing or network-connected computers, complete with exploitable remote-code-execution vulnerabilities. Once...
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