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Brazilian Pirates Hijack US Military Satellites

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the because-they-can dept.

Communications 359

blantonl writes "Brazilians all over the country are using modified amateur radio equipment to communicate with each other using US Military communications satellites — effectively creating their own CB radio network on the backs of the US Military. Recent efforts to crack down have resulted in arrests of some of the users, however the behavior still continues today."

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Wow (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661395)

That's a lot of pirates.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661637)

You're not kidding. The FSM in all is noodley wisdom is cracking down on global warming. We keep seeing Pirate stories and we keep seeing stories showing how Global Warming isn't happening like this [slashdot.org] story yesterday.
ALL HAIL FSM!

~Touched by His noodley appendage~

Re:Bah! (1)

Script Cat (832717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662243)

We all know noodly Finite State Machines only contribute to global warming.

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661719)

See, this is why Pirates beat Ninjas. What story have you read talks about Brazillian Ninja's taking over satellites? Somalian Ninjas hijack cargo ships? None, that's how many.

Ninja (5, Funny)

evilkasper (1292798) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661805)

Ninjas don't leave evidence nor any other trace , kinda part of being a ninja. See if a Ninja hijacked a ship they'd also erase all traces of its existence; yes they are very thorough. Then after they were done with that they'd whip out an electric guitar and rock hard. (all my assumptions are based of 80's Ninja movies)

Re:Ninja (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27662165)

A particularly cunning ninja would plant evidence that made it look like pirates performed a particular deed. You know, things like parrot droppings on the floor, and spraying walls with "arghhh, me 'arties".

Re:Ninja (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662297)

I'm holding out for the Chuck Norris comparison.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661823)

Well, you don't hear about the things ninjas do because ninjas are doing them...

Re:Wow (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661825)

That's because ninjas are invisible.

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661865)

Pirates are only in the news because they're sloppy. Ninjas would have killed whoever found out before they found out then covered up their tracks. You obviously don't know anything about ninjas, you should go do some learnin' before you anger a ninja, I suggest here [realultimatepower.net] (realultimatepower.net) to get the real deal.

Re:Wow (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662061)

How do we know it's not the media trying to angle the news in the pirates favor?

Re:Wow (1)

Povno (1460131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662119)

You don't see it because ninja's have more honor than pirates.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27662353)

If anyone knows Ninjas, it would be this guy...

http://askaninja.com/ ;-)

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662359)

Excuse me? Have you not heard about the Bermuda Triangle, UFO abductions, or Income Tax? All the work of ninjas.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661917)

No kidding. How many zeros is that?

So if i pirate Music with these Satellites... (5, Funny)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662479)

If i pirate Music with these Satellites, does the RIAA sue the US Navy for "facilitators of illegal downloading" ?
I would be thrilled to read in the newspapers the next day that RIAA lawyers were water boarded 183 times by the marines...

Amazing (1, Insightful)

The Gunfreak (1511285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661409)

I find it astounding that we don't have any real security in place to stop this. I mean how can the "most powerful" military in the world not stop Brazilian pirates from abusing our hardware. Russia or China maybe. But Brazil? And not an organized military either. Pirates.

Re:Amazing (2, Funny)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661597)

The street finds its own uses for things

No, just old (5, Informative)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661695)

These are old "bent pipe" FLTSATCOM birds from the 1980s. The transponder tech dates to the 1970s. It's all going to be superseded by the Mobile User Objective System very soon now, so it might even be a good idea to just sell Brazil the old system. Well, assuming the GEO slots aren't needed.

Re:Amazing (1, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662293)

We can just train an army of sharpshooters and have them fire their guns straight up when the satellite passes over. Each one would be aiming for a different Brazilian pirate.

Re:Amazing (2, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662497)

The USA thought long and hard about this.
They needed to shift data around the world and sniff for it.
Huge amounts, everyday, all day.
The last thing that would help is a big slow computer up in space.
Encrypt, bounce (in space), decrypt
You can swap out the ground stations and systems if the Soviets got the info.
Swapping out a satellite is a pain.
Back in the cold war all the Soviets could do was read encrypted traffic.
Anyone can bounce their own 'data' too.
US 'training' staff and private 'consultants' will track your position as you are transmitting.
Now your "arrested" ie your not up on condortel for the SNI to "find".

2 options (3, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661417)

It sounds like the feds have 2 good options:

1) Shut down this capability. This may involve shutting down the birds.
2) Find a way to charge for it

Oh, and maybe a 3rd:
3) Replace the satellites with something secure and sell the birds to someone else and let them worry about it.

Re:2 options (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661657)

4) Anti-Radiation Missiles.

An even easier option... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661693)

...would be to give the crews of these satellites some weapons to fend off the pirates.

Pirates (4, Insightful)

fisticuffs (1537381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661431)

What exactly are the "pirates" pirating? Does mere communications count as "piracy" now?

It's called pirate radio (5, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661493)

Bad geek! It's called Pirate radio [wikipedia.org] , and it's been around longer than the Pirate bay!

Re:Pirates (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661547)

What exactly are the "pirates" pirating? Does mere communications count as "piracy" now?

They may be extending an older term referred to as Pirate Radio [wikipedia.org] which referred to the 'piracy' of radio frequencies. But how can you steal a frequency? :)

Keep in mind this term was around long before internet piracy and I'm guessing they are extending this concept to illicit satellite usage that is very much like a broadcasting communication technology. The military might not be needing these satellites to remain silent just like the FCC doesn't absolutely need silence on all non-allocated radio bands.

Remember, almost every word has baggage before you pick it up and use it. Even worse is the fact that that baggage is very much subjective.

Re:Pirates (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661853)

But how can you steal a frequency? :)

By letting scallywags grabbing bandwidth from the landlubbers.

Re:Pirates (1)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661947)

You can "steal" anything scarce, and a radio frequency is technically a scarcity since you (typically) can only have "one" signal going on the frequency. If you have multiples you tend to get interference, bleeding, etc. Note that I'm using "one" a little figuratively here (multicast transmissions etc) since I'm too lazy at the moment to grab the exact sources to whore my Karma.

Re:Pirates (3, Informative)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661589)

What exactly are the "pirates" pirating? Does mere communications count as "piracy" now?

Never heard the term "pirate radio" before?

I'll explain this in terms of the USA. To broadcast on many frequencies (such as those picked up by a standard AM/FM radio) with any appreciable transmission power (i.e. more than about 300 feet) you are supposed to have an FCC license for that frequency. Pirate radio is what they call it when someone makes a powerful unlicensed transmission on such a frequency. Usually this is done in order to get a message out, particularly a message that "the Establishment" (if you will) or the mainstream would find counter to its interests. Remember that arge media conglomerates such as Clearchannel tend to own most or all of the radio stations in a given area.

So, this deal with the US military satellites involves a "pirate signal" in the sense of an unauthorized transmission.

Re:Pirates (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661653)

Don't you know? Piracy is the new Terrorism!

Pretty soon, car jackers and home invaders will be Pirates too, then shoplifters and yes, those who "Pirate" the air to communicate will be pirates as well. Of course, all will be held in detention centers for boarding and seizing cars, houses, goods, and vocal communication channels without their owners consent. Of course, in accordance with maritime law, they will be executed on the high seas.

Why do you think they were clearing out gitmo? Terrorists? Old news. Pirates? New news!

Oh my, my tinfoil hat seems to have a tear in it, time to go make a new one.

/sarcasm

Re:Pirates (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661829)

Judging by the news in the past few weeks, the new piracy is... piracy.

Re:Pirates (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661667)

Pirates = people who use your HW but doesn't make any damage to it.
Terrorists = people who blow up your HW. /sarcasm off

Re:Pirates (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662301)

I'd call you a language pirate, but I believe you did do some damage when you used it.

Re:Pirates (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662355)

I'm still learning to write in proper English. :/

Re:Pirates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27662481)

Terrorists = people who blow up your HW.

Well, as long as it takes them with it, I guess that would be a fair trade.

Re:Pirates (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662179)

Aye, the pirate speaks, what exactly be th' gentleman o' fortunes piratin'? Does mere communications count as sweet trade now? Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum?

Same Thing with Video Game Consoles (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661447)

The article points out how the original hardware is susceptible now just based on current technology catching up to 1970's technology:

Until then, the military is still using aging FLTSAT and UFO satellites -- and so are a lot of Brazilians. While the technology on the transponders still dates from the 1970s, radio sets back on Earth have only improved and plummeted in cost -- opening a cheap, efficient and illegal backdoor.

It kind of reminds me of video game consoles. With the advent of computers, it became possible to emulate things like the NES and SNES on your computer as those consoles became outdated and your CPU could easily emulate the chipset in those devices. With the Dreamcast, it seemed like they still hadn't learned their lesson as there was little to no-copy-protection on the media that contained the game. It was only a matter of time before hardware caught up and Dreamcast emulators were available.

Systems like the PS3 and Xbox360 have learned from this but it is arguable that soon (if not already) that will be cracked and emulated. The military should take note of this battle as now that communication with satellites has become cheap, they are facing the same cat and mouse game. So they have two options: either attempt to crush it politically (like Brazil's Operation Satellite) or live with it and prepare mitigation plans.

Some might argue that if you give anyone enough time with something, human curiosity and boredom prevails against the highest standards.

Re:Same Thing with Video Game Consoles (2, Funny)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661615)

still using aging FLTSAT and UFO satellites

Those UFO satellites might be dated, but the technology on board sure isn't.

Re:Same Thing with Video Game Consoles (2, Informative)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661619)

Yes, but even in the 70s they had the tech to build in at least some sort of encoding required before the channel would be opened for you even if it was just some sort of DTMF. Sure , people would still be able to hack it but they'd require extra equipment that perhaps wouldn't be available off the shelf in truck stops.

Re:Same Thing with Video Game Consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661845)

Ummmm...they have. They encrypt the entire process from DLL connection on up. The crypto has, what, probably a 100 life expectancy given Moore's law. Thanks for your input there sparky.

Re:Same Thing with Video Game Consoles (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661979)

Wait, what? Modern piracy of SNES and NES games didn't hurt their sales at all. Copy protection in those days was the fact that you couldn't make a copy of a cartridge (disk systems excluded). You made your money, and things worked. NES piracy was rampant by the time the N64 was ready, and they still didn't care enough to make a serious attempt to copy protect those cartridges.

The industry was and is focused on *current* copy protection, as everyone is well aware that all systems will eventually be cracked or emulated. The Dreamcast was rather well protected against this for a while. It used GD-Roms, which could only be copied to smaller CDs if you removed most of the content. And even then CD's only ran through a loophole in a system to facilitate magazine demos. The PS1 and PS2 both required hardware hacks of increasing sophistication to get around copyprotection schemas.

Really, the industry is so focused on selling a game next month, that they hardly think about ten years down the line when emulation catches up. Short-term protection is the name of the game.

Re:Same Thing with Video Game Consoles (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662087)

Copy protection in those days was the fact that you couldn't make a copy of a cartridge (disk systems excluded).

You could mass-produce counterfeit Game Paks for the Famicom if you had a way to fabricate printed circuit boards and ROM chips. That's part of why Nintendo put the 10NES lockout chip in the NES and in NES Game Paks.

Re:Same Thing with Video Game Consoles (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662013)

Systems like the PS3 and Xbox360 have learned from this but it is arguable that soon (if not already) that will be cracked and emulated. The military should take note of this battle as now that communication with satellites has become cheap, they are facing the same cat and mouse game. So they have two options: either attempt to crush it politically (like Brazil's Operation Satellite) or live with it and prepare mitigation plan.

Um, the point of military secured communications satellites are to provide only your side communication. You don't want to provide your enemies communications. Now, allies and neutrals are an entire another question. The thing is these are unauthorized users, the folks responsible for the satellites should treat all unauthorized use access as enemy agent access unless it is verified that it isn't.

If they've got enough info on these users, and can just have the allied/neutral government lock 'em up, that's fine for today. If we are ever at war with that currently allied/neutral country, what makes you think that those individuals wouldn't suddenly be used to hack our satellites? The way that we should be trying to deal with this is to lock them out of satellites. Yes, it's a hard and constantly changing task, but that's just part of the project.

Re:Same Thing with Video Game Consoles (1)

Artemis3 (85734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662209)

Until then, the military is still using aging FLTSAT and UFO satellites -- and so are a lot of Brazilians. While the technology on the transponders still dates from the 1970s, radio sets back on Earth have only improved and plummeted in cost -- opening a cheap, efficient and illegal backdoor.

Why would something like this be illegal to another country? The Brazilian gov should simply ignore this and let the Americans solve their own incompetence.
I find this very cool and should simply be left alone until the birds die, by now the us military should be using updated and secure equipment anyway.

As for video consoles using "security", it is this what they don't learn from. Security measures only cause trouble and increase costs to legit users, everyone else will bypass them. Just like DRM and backdoors in computer games. It all started with the NES (as opposed to the original Famicom) which had an "auth" chip which loved to fail on its own, causing even more repair trips until technicians got clever to bypass the thing by shorting 2 pins :) Then its been mods, mod chips, software mods, flip mods, use a regular DVD drive on your cube mod; you name it mods.. Total waste. Same with printer cartridges; satellite tv; rfid cards; etc. The "pirates" who fight and help us, and the corporations who stomp and entangle us.

Crazy (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661451)

It'd be interesting to see how they did it, I'd love to be able to try it out, except i suspect that all I might hear would be Portuguese and the sound of black helicopters swooping in...

Re:Crazy (4, Informative)

the coose (171981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661681)

One standard amateur VHF transceiver, one frequency doubling circuit, one reasonably high gain antenna. And possibly some satellite tracking software. All easily available.

Re:Crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27662525)

Yeah really, maybe they should require a license for those ham rigs eh? '73

Re:Crazy (2, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661755)

forgot the frequencies, but you should be able to find them by googling. you just need something that can transmit and receive on those frequencies.

back when i was in korea we used to pick up ABC and a few other TV stations with Army FM radios because they supported a few civilian frequencies.

didn't work in europe because over there their freqs end with an even number, in the US they end with an odd number. look at any radio station and the freq will be an odd number in the US

Re:Crazy (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662219)

Based on the description in the article, I'm guessing the sats in question use linear transponders similar to many of the AMSAT Oscar (AO) satellites.

http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/information/faqs/langdon.php [amsat.org] has info on some of the AMSAT satellites.

It sounds like the security of the "as designed" military system was implemented at the endpoint radios with no satellite involvement. For 1970s satellites this makes sense - keep the satellite (the REALLY expensive part) simple, unfortunately it does make the system susceptible to illicit use and jamming.

Brazilian's annoying (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661453)

You thought Brazillians were annoying on IRC. This has got to be worse.

what's with the !pirates tag? (5, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661465)

read up, whoever tagged this story with "!pirates"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_radio [wikipedia.org]

piracy has widespread meanings, from the somali crazies type pirates to software/music/movie/etc. pirates to pirate radio communication.

just like hacker vs cracker, that battle was 'lost' many decades ago, probably before you were even born.

Re:what's with the !pirates tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661531)

Yes but "pirate radio" is a term that is used to refer to a "rogue" person broadcasting standard radio programming... on someone else's frequency.

If they broadcast in an open, unassigned frequency it's not pirate radio, but guerrilla radio.

Re:what's with the !pirates tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661685)

Did you miss the part where they are using "someone else's" US Military Satellites?

Satellite Piracy.

Re:what's with the !pirates tag? (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661773)

Unless Brazil has laws against doing that, it's legal in Brazil. Doesn't matter what the US military thinks.

Re:what's with the !pirates tag? (2, Funny)

Myrimos (1495513) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662049)

Unless Brazil has laws against doing that, it's legal in Brazil. Doesn't matter what the US military thinks.

I honestly can't remember a time when the US government ever thought that way.

Re:what's with the !pirates tag? (1)

Nitage (1010087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662263)

It also is illegal in Brazil.

Re:what's with the !pirates tag? (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662397)

Unless Brazil has laws against doing that, it's legal in Brazil.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. In fact, if you read TFA, you'll see that it is illegal in Brazil, and people are being fined and jailed when caught.

Re:what's with the !pirates tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661797)

The problem is you end up grouping different things together (as aside, this is major problem in all human languages -- but it is so much worse in English!).

Like when you give soft penalties to killers or when you incarcerate a fellow because he copied three times.

Language, it has been proved, influences mind, so using the wrong word can make one act like an idiot.

Brazilians, and I can say for I am one, are 100% fools but they don't hate anyone (we have even a law against prejudice), so this is like the US Mil left its trucks on the street and now complain that Brazilian dudes are taking their gfs for a ride.

However stupid Brazilians may look, I don't think highly of US folks (or Russian or Chinese dudes BTW).

It's like a school bully who left an iron bar laying on the ground and discover some jerks used it to play baseball.

Please find a better hiding place next time. And BTW thank us for not being your enemy. Heck, someone here might even send an email to US Mil and tell: "Thanks for the ride and btw, sattelite 1234 is one degree off-route, in case you didn't know it."

And to the guy who said we're lame, well, maybe, but we got the hottest girls on Earth. Doesn't make you feel doubly bad?

ROFL!

on the subject of tags... (1)

yali (209015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662145)

What I want to know is, what's up with the "hardhack" tag? Did the Brazilian pirates go into space to mod the satellites?

Because if this story involves space pirates, it's even more awesome than I thought.

Re:on the subject of tags... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27662317)

Nope, its a hardhack because they're using hardware to hack. (Or hacking hardware to make it do something it might not have been intended to do, like talk with US Navy satellites). Different from keygens, software cracks, and other "softhacks" that are so common that most of the time, a hack may be assumed to be software unless specified that its a hardware hack.

Back in the day.... (5, Informative)

Subgenius (95662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661481)

I remember when those birds used to pickup terrestrial FM stations. You could listen to the downlink 'in the clear.' This use of military satellites goes back to, at least, 1978.

Re:Back in the day.... (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662463)

Now the military contracts all of their hardware (satellites) to private contractors.

Pirates? (-1, Redundant)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661533)

So now pirate is going to be used for anyone using something for nothing? Or are they saying that thousands of Brazilians are actively terrorizing the high Seas?

Re:Pirates? (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661563)

thousands of Brazilians

Trazilians, you mean, surely.

Re:Pirates? (1)

d'fim (132296) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662077)

Kilorazilions.

60 Megarazilions can't be French cliches.

The definition of "Pirate", among other things... (5, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661989)

So now pirate is going to be used for anyone using something for nothing?

So now "prostitute" is going to be used for anyone selling sex?

So now "pilot" is going to be used for anyone flying a plane?

Uh, hate to break it to you, but sometimes the right word is used properly. But if you prefer, we could always call them "hackers" and really stir up the geek shit pot...

Re:The definition of "Pirate", among other things. (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662413)

Perhaps not prostitute, but you've never heard the term political whoring? Corporate whoring?
And pilot. Ever hear of a maritime pilot? I bet they were around before those newfangled aircraft pilots hijacked (ooh, another one!) the name.
Some words have definitions which are sufficiently flexible to lead to multiple meanings. Pirate has become one of those. Other times, like the hacker vs. cracker issue (or dress vs. robe), it's a lack of knowledge on the part of the user.

Re:Pirates? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662455)

As many posts made prior to you have pointed out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_radio [wikipedia.org]

'Pirate Radio' has been used to describe illegal radio transmissions since at least the 60s.

not that big a deal (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661535)

a lot of channels are open to everyone and not encrypted due to the need for the ability for ships in trouble to call for help over an open channel

these are just your regular frequencies and not anything special. for the encrypted channels you need the key to communicate.

Re:not that big a deal (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661793)

I'm not familiar with ship to shore and ship to ship communications, but do ships call for help by bouncing signals off of US military satellites? I know that GPS satellites were originally military so there is a precedent for deriving benefit from military satellites.

Its a big deal because the birds are the sole property of the US Navy and they don't like people playing with their toys without permission.

That being said, the satellites are a boon to illegal activity (focus of the article. Lets ignore casual hobbyists, mainstream media has been doing that for years. ref: "Hacker"). If a drug cartel can gain the long reach of communication via our birds, what about the big scary straw-men, like terrorists, communists, and liberals? All of them can communicate via long distance chatter, add encoding into the mix and the US loses the ability to eavesdrop.

In war, being able to communicate effectively may be just as important as those little metal objects that come flying out of guns. Why give the other side that ammo for free?

Re:not that big a deal (4, Informative)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662341)

Ships call for help using a 406 MHz EPIRB. The signal is picked up by the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite network and relayed to a local SAR station. The 406 MHZ beacons are a big improvement over the old 121.5 and 243 MHz beacons, as they support identification and GPS data. The old beacons basically just scream "Help!".

The ecologists were right. (2, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661555)

You really can hear rare birds in the rainforest!

40 year old tech? (4, Insightful)

DomNF15 (1529309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661561)

With defense appropriated funds accounting for a large chunk of the USA's annual budget, you'd think they could use something newer than 1970's era technology for long range com...wouldn't the time/money/resources spent on busting the "pirates" be better spent on a new (secure) system?

Re:40 year old tech? (2, Insightful)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661737)

We are getting ready to go back to the Moon on 60's era technology...why should the military be any differnet?

Because... (4, Informative)

DomNF15 (1529309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661869)

NASA budget: $17.2 billion - DoD budget: $515.4 billion - nuff said...

Re:40 year old tech? (3, Informative)

Shawndeisi (839070) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662523)

I think you missed the part where the United States is not the government cracking down on the pirates.

Listening to Pirate Radio... (4, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661669)

Costs a buck an ear!

HAHAHAHAHAH

I kill me.

I wish you would. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27662465)

Go ahead.

Re:Listening to Pirate Radio... (1)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662485)

I kill me.

I wish you would. :)

Brazilian? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27661709)

Yes, they are Brazilian. They have full waxing.. including their peg-legs.

Wow! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661813)

This makes me want to run out and buy some new HAM gear so I can talk for free to Brazilian bikini models! "Tu amore!"

Re:Wow! (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662059)

This makes me want to run out and buy some new HAM gear so I can talk for free to Brazilian bikini models! "Tu amore!"

If you would have bothered to RTFA, you would have discovered that the primary users of this system are truck drivers and loggers.

But whatever floats your boat....

Anyone Know? (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661847)

How old is the FleetSat platform they are hacking? Some of these birds have been up there a long, long time. Like way before commonly available electronics allowed any jose hacker to reach a satellite. Something to consider before bashing the Navy about an unsecure link. As an ex-AF guy, I can tell you that that last allowable pounds put on a MEO or HEO satellite are station keeping propellant. Just look at the mars rovers to see how long many space craft outlast their design lives.

Military Satellite Piracy is all fun and games . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661899)

. . . until the US Navy SEALs parachute into your backyard.

Re:Military Satellite Piracy is all fun and games (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662385)

Not SEALS.
Marines.
Where did you get the idea SEALS are used to protect Satellites?

American military genius at work (0, Flamebait)

Murpster (1274988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27661951)

America, FUCK YEAH!!

Re:American military genius at work (4, Funny)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662221)

durka durka, muhammad jihad.

Hogwash! (1)

thrillbert (146343) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662001)

There's absolutely NO WAY that ANYONE can hack into a US Government satellite or computer system.

It's like Colbert says, the bible is true because the bible says it's true.. what part of that logic do you not understand???

--thrill

Not used anymore... (3, Insightful)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662025)

Asides from the fact that these operators were way outside their respective allowed band, they did no harm as these satellites aren't even used anymore by the US-Navy (for whom they were built). They should repurpose them for civilian use if possible - which would be cool as they are geo stationary.

Re:Not used anymore... (1)

DragonDru (984185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662149)

that or turn it off.
Seems like arresting people for using it is the long way around.

Re:Not used anymore... (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662251)

I wouldn't be too surprised if they've lost control and can't turn them off anymore....

Re:Not used anymore... (2, Funny)

tripmine (1160123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662429)

Oh, you can always turn it off [slashdot.org] . :)

Re:Not used anymore... (2, Informative)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662493)

Asides from the fact that these operators were way outside their respective allowed band, they did no harm as these satellites aren't even used anymore by the US-Navy (for whom they were built).

BUZZ!!!!

Oh, I'm sorry, you're incorrect. Thank you for playing, we have a lovely parting gift of TFA for you to read on your way home.

Here's an excerpt:

One week after the "Operation Satellite," Brochi met with Wired.com at a gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts in a bucolic square in Campinas, about 60 miles north of Sao Paulo. Brochi switches on his UHF receiver and scans through the satellite frequencies.

It's relatively quiet now on the satellite underground, except for the static-like sound of encrypted military traffic.

America are friends. (1)

toyjoy (765596) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662079)

Well, that's a clever way to build up your comunication enterprise and shouldn't be illegal if the US leave the channel open soo why not use it???

Let's invade Brazil now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27662277)

I think that we should really have a war against Brazil now.

Eavesdropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27662299)

U.S. experts managed to eavesdrop on one of the channels.

User1: PLIS I NID FREE
User1: BR???????????
User2: SI
User1: HEUAHEUEHAEUHAEHUAEHUAE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
User2: HUAJAHUEAJAHUEJAHUEAJAHUEAJAHUEAJA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

W.T.F. (4, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662363)

"If a soldier is shot in an ambush, the first thing he will think of doing will be to send a help request over the radio," observes Brochi. "What if he's trying to call for help and two truckers are discussing soccer? In an emergency, that soldier won't be able to remember quickly how to change the radio programming to look for a frequency that's not saturated."

What if he's shot in the field and the *enemy* saturates all the frequencies? This should have been secure from the get go, anything less is criminal.

Let them (4, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27662423)

We get their soccer team and call it even. Deal?
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