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Small Satellite Dish Systems 'Ripe For Hacking' 44

The Walking Dude writes: "According to the CS Monitor, 'Thousands of small satellite dish-based computer systems [VSATs] that transmit often-sensitive data from far flung locations worldwide – oil rigs, ships at sea, banks, and even power grid substations – are at high risk of being hacked, including many in the United States, a new cyber-security report has found.' Dr. Jason Fritz said, 'Vulnerabilities exist at all nodes and links in satellite structure. These can be exploited through Internet-connected computer networks, as hackers are more commonly envisioned to do, or through electronic warfare methodologies that more directly manipulate the radio waves of uplinks and downlinks.'"
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Small Satellite Dish Systems 'Ripe For Hacking'

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  • Competition. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @06:47AM (#45931141)

    I don't take computer security seriously any more. Everything's an arms race where the only way to win is not to be important enough for anyone to want to make an effort against you.

    If we had a culture based on cooperation rather than competition, we wouldn't have everyone taught and therefore trying to get one up on everyone else.

    It's been hundreds of years since humanity has established new societies based on cooperation (no, Marxism-Leninism is nothing of the sort). Let's stop lazily thinking of ourselves and try again, if we're intelligent enough.

  • No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @07:27AM (#45931219)

    All software is shit, all hardware too. We've long abandoned a development model that is focused on correctness. It has been features, features, features for decades. So what do you expect? Of course everything's ripe to be hacked. We had a choice.

  • Re:CRACKING... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sinus0idal ( 546109 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @07:48AM (#45931259)

    Sorry but these days it does, that battle is lost. The common lexicon doesn't wait around for the old school.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @08:32AM (#45931377)

    "Abandoned" implies that this used to exist. Look at FTP, horrifically complex protocol that handles a lot of what we use load balancers to do today with zero security. The good old days weren't quite as good as we remember them to be.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KingOfBLASH ( 620432 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:41AM (#45931557) Journal

    Most locks can be picked with a lock pick

    Many cars can be compromised with a screwdriver and thin piece of metal to open them.

    Many anti-shoplifting devices can be disabled if you know how.

    The list goes on.

    True security costs money and effort. A LOT of it.

    For most applications, as a society, we err on the side of too little security (and accept the small chance that security will be compromised, because it's not an issue).

    This is because, historically, security issues have been quite local. People don't steal enough in most neighborhoods to justify putting bars on your windows. People don't shoplift enough to justify a full cavity search of anyone entering or exiting a department store.

    Technology is of course changing all of that. Before, if we know there is a 1 in a million chance of a bad guy in the population, most small communities were not afraid. Now, it is possible for a single determined hacker to do all kinds of crazy things. That's where people have not caught up, and in the future we will have to start making choices with regards to whether we want to expend the resources for true security. And we might do it if there are enough incidents to justify it -- but perhaps not before.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"