Satellite systems used on aircraft, ships and by the military contain bugs that could let hackers take control of them, a security researcher has warned.
The worst bugs could let attackers overcharge satellite antenna to damage the equipment or harm operators.
And others could be used to betray the exact location of military forces in crisis zones, the researcher said.
IOActive, which found the bugs, said it was working with manufacturers to harden devices against attack.
Hacked satellite systems could launch microwave-like attacks, expert warns
The satellite communications that ships, planes and the military use to connect to the internet are vulnerable to hackers that, in the worst-case scenario, could carry out “cyber-physical attacks”, turning satellite antennas into weapons that operate, essentially, like microwave ovens.
According to research presented at the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, a number of popular satellite communication systems are vulnerable to the attacks, which could also leak information and hack connected devices. The attacks, which are merely a nuisance for the aviation sector, could pose a safety risk for military and maritime users, the research claims.