Ukraine: SpaceX reprioritizes cyber defense after Starlink signal jam

Ukraine: SpaceX reprioritizes cyber defense after Starlink signal jam

by Pranali Mehta

SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk, has reportedly stated that the aerospace manufacturer will be switching its priorities to cybersecurity and defense after the company’s satellite internet service, Starlink, was targeted in Ukraine by invading Russian forces.

For the uninitiated, Starlink was activated in Ukraine soon after it was invaded by Russia, when the country’s Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted Elon Musk, requesting him to launch Starlink internet capabilities in Ukraine.

Starlink internet is delivered by essentially beaming broadband signals to Earth through a network of satellites orbiting the planet. People can connect to this service with the help of a specialized receiver.

While Starlink is more specifically designed to be used by those in remote locations, it has emerged as an effective way to deliver communication capabilities in disaster-hit areas where the existing communications infrastructure has either been disabled or destroyed.

Musk has claimed that some Starlink terminals near conflict areas in Ukraine were being targeted by signal jamming attacks for several hours and would need additional cyber security measures as protection.

During the weekend, Musk tweeted that SpaceX has reprioritized to cyber defense in order to overcome such signal jamming attacks, which will be causing slight delays in Starlink V2 and Starship launch.

Musk also said that the company’s latest software update will help in bypassing the jamming of the signal.

Earlier, the American billionaire had warned of Starlink having a high probability of being targeted, considering that it is the only non-Russian communications system that is still operating in some parts of Ukraine.

The new software updates by SpaceX will also make Starlink more suitable to be used in the country and includes an upgrade that allows it to be powered by a car’s cigarette lighter.

Musk recently also spoke with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, to discuss in what other ways SpaceX can help the country in terms of defense and humanitarian efforts.

President Zelensky tweeted about the discussion, saying that the country will be receiving another batch of Starlink systems for the cities that have been destroyed, adding that they also discussed possible space projects.

Kyiv’s Mayor, Vitali Klitschko, who is also using the Starlink terminal in Ukraine, said that they will be used in supporting critical infrastructure.

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Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in a chemical firm for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience in content writ Read more...