Monday, June 5, 2023

Pigs Hackers In Space!

This isn't quite the 21st Century I was promised, but this sounds like a very interesting idea:

Assuming the weather and engineering gods cooperate, a US government-funded satellite dubbed Moonlighter will launch at 1212 EDT (1612 UTC) on Sunday, hitching a ride on a SpaceX rocket before being releasing into Earth's orbit.

And in roughly two months, five teams of DEF CON hackers will do their best to successfully remotely infiltrate and hijack the satellite while it's in space. The idea being to try out offensive and defensive techniques and methods on actual in-orbit hardware and software, which we imagine could help improve our space systems.

Each year there is a security conference held in Las Vegas.  The Black Hat Briefings are pretty corporate and button-down, but it's pretty much the high point of the security year.  Black Hat's red headed stepchild is held immediately afterwards: DEFCON is where security folks let down their hair and let their freak flag fly.  In may ways, it's more interesting than Black Hat.

For example, they set up a network where people play "capture the flag", computer security style.  The attendees are also notoriously skeptical of the government, and have a "Spot The Fed" contest each year.

This is a very interesting approach taken by the Fed.Gov in that the visibility and coolness factor of hacking a satellite in orbit will totally overwhelm the natural tendency of the attendees to avoid all things Fed.

Interestingly, Dwight (your go-to guy for obituaries and which coaches have been fired) is also your go-to guy on DEFCON reporting.


Old NFO said...

LOL, that's going to be 'interesting'!!!

Matthew W said...

What's the worst that could happen??

Kurt said...

Worst that could happen?

Change orbit to intercept a Chines satellite, causing outrage and bringing us one step closer to war.

How likely? Not very, I suppose.


matism said...

Or if they de-orbit the satellite and drop it on your home!