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Researchers use decommissioned satellite to retransmit pirate television

03/30/2022

A group of researchers have been granted permission since last year to access and transmit from the disused Anik F1R satellite, launched in support of television broadcasting in 2005 and designed for 15 years of use, as part of research into possible security vulnerabilities of satellites in orbit.

They have wondered what happens when a satellite is decommissioned and transitions to a "graveyard orbit". To this end, at the ShmooCon conference, they have managed to live stream another security conference using special access to an uplink licence and a transponder slot lease.

They have argued that, technically, there are no security controls on most satellites, and if a signal strong enough to reach the satellites can be generated, they would send it back to Earth.