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Sri Lankan Terrorists Hack Satellite

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the can't-make-this-stuff-up dept.

Security 330

SorryTomato writes "The Tamil Tigers Liberation Front a separatist group in Sri Lanka, which has been classified as a terrorist group in 32 countries has moved up from routine sea piracy to a space-based one. They have been accused of illegally using Intelsat satellites to beam radio and television broadcasts internationally. Intelsat says that they will end the transmissions 'within days.' Intelsat has been accused of having business links with Hezbollah before, but claim that they are blameless this time and LTTE was using an empty transponder."

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No way! (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715873)

It has to be the NSA: they need a reason to invade sri lanka !
fuck bush!

Arthur C Clarke said to be turning in his grave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716343)


Arthur C Clarke said to be turning in his grave from all the problems caused by these islamic, alah-muslim terrorists.

Re:Arthur C Clarke said to be turning in his grave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716379)

... except Clarke is still alive

Re:Arthur C Clarke said to be turning in his grave (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716421)

... up until Tuesday. Maybe you prefer "terminated animation"?

Re:Arthur C Clarke said to be turning in his grave (1)

aalu.paneer (872021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716599)

... except LTTE is not "islamic, alah-muslim"

Re:Arthur C Clarke said to be turning in his grave (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716641)

... all terrorists today are muslim, or are based on islamic "extremist" ideals: death to the infidels, alah is great, let's go blow up those school children and meet our maker in paradise. Anyway, this has been reported so I presume confirmed.

The Best Hackers (1)

aarmenaa (712174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715879)

Intelsat has been accused of having business links with Hezbollah before, but claim that they are blameless this time and LTTE was using an empty transponder.
The best hackers are the ones that you don't even know are there. I'm betting that Intelsat still wouldn've let the broadcast, but there woulda been some money involved if it hadn't been hacked.

Re:The Best Hackers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18715893)

That's one interesting reduction you've got there: "wouldn've" guessing this would be "would not have"?
Not trolling, I really mean it.

Re:The Best Hackers (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716121)

Yeah, I usually write it wouldn't've; that's the way it sounds to me.

Re:The Best Hackers (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716393)

I agree, fantastic reduction. We need an English language hack where all words are reduced to be written as they sound. Good show, chap!

Re:The Best Hackers (2, Funny)

CalSolt (999365) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716077)

Intelsat has been accused of having business links with Hezbollah before
This is the company we trust to run one of our most valuable strategic assets?

Re:The Best Hackers (1)

bradavon (1066358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716105)

The Tamil Tigers goal isn't financial.

Re:The Best Hackers (3, Interesting)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716375)

Is it really that hard to hack satellites? Is the security not so great since there are few people who actually have the capacity to try such tricks?

Re:The Best Hackers (2, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716573)

Is it really that hard to hack satellites? Is the security not so great since there are few people who actually have the capacity to try such tricks?
Exactly. There is basically no security at all, apart from the requirement to have a big phat (and thus obvious...) transmitter. 30 meter antennae are somewhat hard to procure and hide, so anybody pulling such a stunt from an industrialized country would probably be caught within days. But do it from within a third-world country where nobody gives a damn, and you're free to air.

Re:The Best Hackers (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716613)

it's probably quite easy to hack a satellite, if you have signalling devices capable of reaching them. Those are easy to come by.

Satellites are not, with the possible exception of military satts, built to withstand a concerted hacking episode. They're expensive enough as it is. Just outfitting with basic, robust, telecoms repeater technology is difficult enough.

You might find that satellites start becoming more robust to hacking. However since the trend is to move away from large high cost installations to small cheap satellite constellations and high altitude autonomous aircraft, it's likely that they will stay just as easy to crack. It could be cheaper to turn off a compromised satellite then to attempt to make it so attacks (which constantly evolve) can be resisted.

Re:The Best Hackers (5, Informative)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716423)

No need for covert hacking, most satellites are little more than expensive dumb repeaters in space, anyone with a few thousand dollars can bounce a signal off one without restriction, sometimes without even being noticed for a good length of time, if at all.

Given that the best automated methods of scanning and identifying energy spikes is about as good as speech recognition 15 years ago - and don't kid your selves on this point you 3 letter agency drone PHB's :-), it is still vastly quicker to have a human operator run through with a spectrum analyser to figure out what should or should not be there. Back when I was working for the man, the visible part of the clark belt in my section of the sky was filled with satellites having many thousands of transmissions on each polarity in use. Weeding out the pirates is tedious and never ending work for a space based telco.

I'm certain Intelsat don't want any non-paid for signals period, though the legalities of pirate transmissions are a bit of a grey area depending on which country you are in. I have seen on many occasions a sweeping CW (carrier wave) running back and forth across what I assume are unwanted transmissions. I'd say there's not really much more Intelsat can do except suck it up and try to identify unknowns a tad faster than they have been doing in the past, and then simply try to disrupt the signal - no guarantee this will work though.

The fine article makes it sound like Intelsat have some sophisticated system that'll let them drop the transmissions with a flick of a few switches - this is an interesting feel good fluff explanation probably more aimed at their investors. What they really mean is that there is sweet FA they can do about it beyond asking nicely for the naughty men to turn off their bad signal, otherwise they'll take their transponder and switch it off for everyone, only for a few minutes though.

Re:The Best Hackers (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716595)

I'd say there's not really much more Intelsat can do except suck it up and try to identify unknowns a tad faster than they have been doing in the past, and then simply try to disrupt the signal - no guarantee this will work though.
If the signal is taking up a full transponder (analog TV), couldn't they just turn it off at the TWT level? There must be some way of doing this, or how else would you deal with damaged transponders?

Re:The Best Hackers (1)

ssintercept (843305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716597)

aren't really hackers...from the article 'Intelsat Ltd which allowed Tamil Tigers to use their channels has so far not disclosed who or which organization is responsible for up-linking this TV channel to a transponder in the Intelsat 12 satellite.' it goes on to say that 'GlobeCast ( www.globecast.com) is a leading global content management and delivery company. It is the subsidiary of France Telecom.' so they do know who is doing it and its a corporate endeavor. only reason they got caught is that they (the tigers) is that they did not have the proper papers. where is the hack?

Twofo Goat Sex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18715909)

http://www.twofo.co.uk/ [goatse.ch] [twofo.co.uk]

I Guess It's Time ... (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715927)

... to add 'Tin Foil Hats' to our anti-terrorist kits. At least the duct tape won't be lonely anymore.


warning: The above content may test positive for sarcasm and/or could be a failed attempt at humor and as such should be taken with a pound of salt.

Re:I Guess It's Time ... (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715999)

... to add 'Tin Foil Hats' to our anti-terrorist kits. At least the duct tape won't be lonely anymore.

Don't forget the Vasoline.

And why does it matter that they are 'terrorists'? (0, Troll)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715929)

A hack is a hack, no matter who makes it. They are not committing any terrorist acts over satelite, are they? Terrorists are also freedom fighters, it just depends on who's viewpoint you prefer.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18715965)

Terrorists are also freedom fighters, it just depends on who's viewpoint you prefer.

Yeah. Terrorists are also freedom fighters.

Just like the KKK were civil rights activists.
And the Nazis were applied medical researchers.
And the Khmer Rouge were population control experts.

Etc., etc...

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716003)

So because the KKK weren't civil rights activists, not a single "terrorist" is a freedom fighter? The "terrorist" label is rather cheap these days.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716207)

Just like republicans are democrcay fighters

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1, Interesting)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716267)

Yes, exactly like that. In the eyes of the KKK, they are civil rights activitsts. In the eyes of Nazis, they were applied medical researchers. In the eyes of whoever that last one is, they were in their own eyes whatever they wished to be.

In the eyes of the Britich empire, the freedom fighters of America were terrorists.

History is always written by those who 'won' the war. (And now war; no history, generalized.)

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1, Insightful)

vandan (151516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716367)

And like the US like to spread democracy ... And respects civil liberties ... And doesn't torture political prisoners ... And will one day say the world

Those in glass houses ...

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18715983)

terrorist != freedom fighter

The intentional killing of civilians in order to promote a political agenda.

Terrorists have never won. They just kill the folks who are easy to kill.

Freedom fights have won. One doesn't win over the population by killing their faimily and friends.

I worry that all this PC bullsh1t is killing us when we can't say what is what clearly.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716047)

I worry that all this PC bullsh1t is killing us when we can't say what is what clearly.
Do you even realize what you wrote there?

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716451)

Although your comment is funny, the poster is RIGHT ON. It just takes an intelligent mind to grock it.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716079)

I agree with you wholeheartedly. People are repeating catch phrases they hear on TV without actually thinking about their meanings. Terrorists have never historically won wars precisely for the reasons you mentioned; they just murder civilians for the sake of getting their 20 seconds on TV and many society simply feeds the beast.

Good news never ends up on TV because it's boring, but that basically implies that we pay news services to give us horrific violent news, which in turn enpowers people using horrific violence to get media attention.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (5, Insightful)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716203)

May I suggest you look a bit into the history of Ireland?

The theory how armed resistance can be used to overthrow government is very old and goes along the lines of: provoke the authorities with violence until they start to react as violent, but against their own innocent civilians. Every state action should generate more supporters for your cause until you have a large enough majority to oust the regime, or they just downright give up. If you follow that theory, al-qaida was very successfull with their wtc attack. The US overreacted so violently that they lost all their goodwill in the rest of the world. Indirectly this may lead to the withdrawal of the US from Saudi soil.

Btw, personally I think all violence is wrong, but neither do I like the Myopic US views on 'terrorism'.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (0)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716303)

If you follow that theory, al-qaida was very successfull with their wtc attack.

The Al Qaeda attack on the WTC was not against the American government, it was just against an easily targetable private building. The only attack Al Qaeda has made on the actual authorities in the U.S. was the Pentagon jet. Al Qaeda is not using the method of targetting government personnel that can get revolutions won. It is going after Joe Average, and that sort of strategy doesn't work well.

The US overreacted so violently that they lost all their goodwill in the rest of the world.

That the U.S. had goodwill before 9/11 and then threw it away with the invasion of Iraq is a myth. Negative opinion of Western, especially American, culture and politics in the Arab world has existed in the mainstream of Arab society since Qutb. Anti-Americanism in Europe goes back decades and has stayed at generally the same level.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716441)

Al Qaeda is not using the method of targetting government personnel that can get revolutions won. It is going after Joe Average, and that sort of strategy doesn't work well.
It seems to be working quite well in every sense that they intended it to.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716467)

Anti-Americanism in Europe goes back decades and has stayed at generally the same level.

No, it hasn't. When I was young (eighties), the US was seen as the great superpower protecting us from those evil Soviets. I vividly remember the horror stories told by my parent of desperate people risking their lives trying to get over the Berlin wall to the West, because it was so bad and repressive in those Eastern European states. Stories about secret police abducting you because you dared to criticise the state. On the other hand, the US were these great guys who protected us from Soviet annexation after WWII. Nowadays, you'll be hard pressed to hear my parents say anything good about the US though.

You're merely deluding yourself into a comfortable "whatever we do, they've never liked us and will never like us anyway, so why would we care what others say/think"-position? I hope you do not confuse that attitude with patriotism.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716575)

No, it hasn't. When I was young (eighties), the US was seen as the great superpower protecting us from those evil Soviets.

Anti-American riots flared in the 1960s and 1970s in much of Western Europe, especially in the era of the Vietnam War. Throughout the 1990s many popular books appeared in France deploring American culture. No, there was not any absence of anti-Americanism until spring of 2003.

I should have mentioned Japan. The renewal of military cooperation after the end of occupation led to anti-American riots. The generation of 1968 had a significant dislike of the U.S.

You're merely deluding yourself into a comfortable "whatever we do, they've never liked us and will never like us anyway, so why would we care what others say/think"-position?

Where did I ever say such a thing? Misquoting me in such a fashion is slanderous.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716659)

Misquoting me in such a fashion is slanderous.
So use your God given right as an American and sue the shit out of him.
America, FUCK YEAH!

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716571)

"The Al Qaeda attack on the WTC was not against the American government, it was just against an easily targetable private building."

Terrorists attack government institutions and officials in hopes to provoke a mis-targeted response that will rally public support to their cause.

It follows that Al Qaeda -a terrorist group by any account- believed at the time that at least some of the guys in the towers were working for the government of the US.

Proving if they were right or wrong is left as an exercise to the readers. Hint: begin by parsing a list [wikipedia.org] of the companies which had offices in the buildings. Is the "New York State Department of Taxation and Finance" a part of the US Government? How about "Raytheon Company"?

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716669)

It does not matter who operates the targets, they only need to elicit a response from the government. And it certainly did that. The US even started to oppres their own people in response (al-qaida US liberation front?)
Did you know that al-qaida had nothing to do with Iraq? see the innocent bystander here?
And did you know that people outside the US are capable of changing how they view the US. Its action are really reflected in public opinion. Why did you start calling french fries 'freedom' fries again? Resentment against the US was always there, but limited. US aggression made it much stronger.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716377)

Very insightful, it is also exactly what is happening in Sri Lanka. I have personally witnessed a civilian being beaten up by the Sri Lankan army: on the main road connecting the capital to the parliament. People who travel to the war torn east of the country have told me such things happen regularly there. I shudder to think what happens out of sight and in more of the way places.

The LTTE are very ruthless and achieved their position partly by killing any dissenters. They are also the world leaders in suicide bombings, both in the number of attacks and the technology used. I suspect if the Sri Lankan forces had been more restrained, the LTTE's own brutality would have undermined them.

They are certainly ingenious and are unique among their peers in operating on land, sea and in the air - they recently used light aircraft to bomb an air force base, and had dropped bombs and got away before the air force get its air craft off the ground.

In the meantime, Sri Lanka faces horrible side effects from war. Corruption, vote-rigging, suppression of free speech, a rise in Buddhist fundamentalism and huge economic damage.

On a more cheerful note, its a great time to go to Sri Lanka on holiday. The hotels are dirt cheap. The conflict is localised, foreigners are not targets, and you would be safe from violence as long as you avoid the north and east of the country. The risks from Sri Lankan driving are another matter....

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons: my profile links to my blog and I do not want to make unnecessarily make enemies in Sri Lanka as I spend a lot of time there. The fact that I feel it necessary to be anonymous should tell you a lot about the state of free speech in Sri Lanka.

terrorist / freedom-fighter (1)

zangetsu (995662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716561)

a definition of terrorism: the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes. fear is one of many areas of psychological warfare (but not all warfare is political aka not all use of fear = terrorism) a prison inmate who on his first day beats another inmate half to death will not be perceived as weak and may not be targeted for abuse a drill sergeant who demands push-ups for anything less than perfection won't be popular but will produce well trained, disciplined troops dropping atomic bombs (displayed unrivaled power/destruction) can cause the most determined enemy to lose the will to fight (if both sides have atomic weapons, it incites retaliation) How do you judge a person--by the ends or by the means? How many acts of terrorism are enough to define a person as a terrorist? (lies - liar / comments - racist / gifts - philanthropist / ...) There is a tendency to perceive a person as the embodiment of a quality -- Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, Martin Luther King, etc People can have dominant qualities, but perceiving figures as entirely good or entirely evil is failing to understand that person and how we can become (intentionally or unintentionally) like them

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (5, Insightful)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716253)

... Terrorists have never won ...

... Freedom fights have won ...

Terrorists that "win" get to call themselves freedom fighters because they "won". Terrorists who didn't "win" get called terrorists by the "winners".

... The intentional killing of civilians in order to promote a political agenda ...

That could cover just about any form of violence whether perpetrated by governments or terrorists/freedom fighters, east or west.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (0, Troll)

traveller604 (961720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716269)

Terrorists have never won True.. US still doesn't control Iraq and they never will.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716005)

Of course when the US starts arming satellites with lasers Babylon 5 style as they intend, so hackers can zap anyone (outdoors) on the planet, it might become more dangerous. (Hmmm, love the slashdot keyword: photon!)

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716025)

Apparently these Intelsat satellites are already armed.

Asked whether al-Qaeda could use the same satellite for the purpose of an attack against the United States, Spector said it was only a hypothetical situation. But when pressed for an answer, Spector said it was technically possible.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716127)

It's extremely unlikely they're armed, and if they were they certainly wouldn't tell you.

Attack can take many forms - DoS, modification or monitoring of sensitive data, hijacking the telemetry to deliberately crash it into another one ...

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (3, Funny)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716141)

If the positional thrusters are capable of producing enough delta-v for it to come down exactly at the right moment to ram the ascending space shuttle, then I guess yes, the technical possibility to attack the US does exist. Besides that, I can't imagine an attack vector going beyond simply turning the sat OFF, just to piss some US housewifes waiting for their sitcoms to start.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716297)

It would probably be easier to bring it down on a city rather than try to match vectors with a small, rapidly moving object like the Shuttle. Of course I don't know that much would survive reentry, but it would be an easier thing to do.

Heck, even just bringing down/disabling them would be considered an attack.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716427)

That's what I thought of first, but I droped that idea exactly because of the problem you mentioned: it would burn up in the atmosphere, unless it's frigging HUGE!

MIR was frigging HUGE (at least compared to a telecom sat), and yet it burned up completely (?) in the atmosphere.

The "bringing down/disabling" part could be considered an attack by some, that's correct. However, in my book, it would be more of an annoyance...

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716017)

After taking a look at your past comments, it seems more likely that you just wanted to rationalize the antics of the violent insurgents that are basically destroying my native country, because you like that they're anti-American rebels. (Although they ARE part of the reason I came to the US, I have to thank them for that.)

Mods- I'm not trolling here-- look at his profile if you don't believe me.

ad hominem. (-1, Redundant)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716241)

Maybe you are not trolling, but you sure are attacking me personally instead of staying on topic.
What about answering the question: why is it so important to call them terrorist? I have no interest in this conflict, I just don't like such obvious bias in the reporting.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (2, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716457)

You were able to support your comments by looking at someone's profile. Then gotted modded to +4. Great - so why post as AC?

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

Venerable Vegetable (1003177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716261)

Ok, seriously, what does it matter that terrorists are also freedom fighters? The fact that they are freedom fighters is rather overshadowed by them also being terrorists. They are also human beings. So what.

They're just being called by their most defining description, which is a very common thing to do.

And of course it matters that they are terrorists. It might give insight in why they hacked it, and with what intentions (propaganda maybe?). It also gives a warning about the inventiveness of some terrorists and illustrates why it is important to secure satelites. (communication- and other.)

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (2, Interesting)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716295)

Whatever they say, the large majority of the terrorists cannot be seriously called "freedom fighters".
People who used terrorism agains nazi occupation in several european countries and to a certain extend some of the intifada fighters may claim that title as long as they only attacked military or police targets of a brutal occupation force or dictatorship in their homeland. Tamil tigers might have fallen in that category, but they really have too much innocent blood on their hands.
But on the other hand, although I hate GWB as much as any other non-US citizen, I refuse that title to people who, for example, come from Iran or Syria (or any other place) to Irak and blindly kill civilian because bringing chaos to Irak serves the political agenda of the country that funds them.

And yes, propaganda can be a tool of terrorism.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

bentcd (690786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716617)

People who used terrorism agains nazi occupation in several european countries and to a certain extend some of the intifada fighters may claim that title as long as they only attacked military or police targets of a brutal occupation force dictatorship in their homeland.
War is never that clear-cut.
Norwegian freedom fighters sunk a civilian ferry (the Hydro), knowingly causing a number of civilian casualties, yet this is considered one of the greatest achievements of the Norwegian resistance during WW2 since the same ferry had multiple barrels of heavy water in its holds that were en route for Germany. The D-day landings and the ensuing campaign into France saw thousands upon thousands of French civilians getting blown to bits by allied bombers and yet this has since been considered a great and noble military campaign.
Trying to win a war is rather akin to trying to make a really really big omelet that way ...

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (2, Insightful)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716359)

A hack is a hack, no matter who makes it. They are not committing any terrorist acts over satelite, are they? Terrorists are also freedom fighters, it just depends on who's viewpoint you prefer.
really? what freedom were Hitler's werewolves fighting for?

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716579)

what freedom were Hitler's werewolves fighting for?


They were fighting to free their country from the occupying forces. Regardless of whether they were on the wrong end of the fight to begin with, once their country was invaded, they became freedom fighters.

Or are you trying to say that those people who, during the American Revolution, attacked British subjects and those who wanted to stay united with Great Britain, were terrorists?

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716603)

Why, the freedom of the Aryan Master Race to reign supreme over the lesser cattle, of course.

When people say "freedom", they can mean a lot of different things.

Re:And why does it matter that they are 'terrorist (2, Informative)

inasra (1079579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716455)

LTTE might have started as a group of freedom fighters.
But [google.co.in] they [google.co.in] are [google.co.in] no [wikipedia.org] longer [wikipedia.org] one [time.com] .

Capt Midnight is not impressed. (0, Offtopic)

John_R._MacDougall (1087839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715949)

Old and busted.

Skynet went live... (0, Offtopic)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715955)

..12 April 2007.

Properganda (2, Insightful)

Chief Wongoller (1081431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715961)

No doubt the transmissions are being used to attemp to justify the illegal war being waged. Very Foxey! I wonder where they got that idea from?

Re:Properganda (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716145)

"No doubt the transmissions are being used to attemp to justify the illegal war being waged. Very Foxey! I wonder where they got that idea from?"

"Illegal War?" I never fully understood how a war could be considered 'illegal' by some folks when Congress, Senate, and the Executive branch all voted for it.

Re:Properganda (1)

wraith0x29a (565168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716215)

Something can be illegal in terms of international law while being legal in domestic law.

How? (3, Interesting)

wesmills (18791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715981)

OK, because at least someone on Slashdot knows, I have to ask: how would they do this? Is there some form of access key or security needed to uplink to a transponder, or is it simply a matter of finding the right satellite and frequency? I would hope that the latter is not true, but "security by obscurity" is a well-known (amusingly) procedure in many companies..

Re:How? (5, Informative)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716041)

The satellite was configured to retransmit on certain channels, the LTE simply beamed up a signal on a channel that wasn't in use but was configured to retransmit if something was being sent to it.

Re:How? (1)

schumaml (78970) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716323)

This is something I wondered about during the past months, too.

Are ways to guarantee identification, authentication and authorization of a signal's sender even implemented in satellites, or does everyone rely on the fact that no one except the owners does (did) have the equipment to transmit to them?

Will we soon see global transmissions of messages like "This is a message to all American infidels. You will be punished for your decadent ways on the first day of Radaman."?

Re:How? (1)

gratemyl (1074573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716325)

So how did they re-configure it to retransmit on those certain channels? They must have had administrative access to the satellite...

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716415)

Why assume reconfiguring was necessary? They probably set this up for testing purposes or something then forgot about it. Administrator mistakes / lack of maintenance is what allows most hacks to be done.

Re:How? (5, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716307)

at least someone on Slashdot knows, I have to ask: how would they do this? Is there some form of access key or security needed to uplink to a transponder, or is it simply a matter of finding the right satellite and frequency?


I know, because I work for a satellite company. Communications satellites normally have no protection at all, if you know the right frequency, have a powerful enough transmitter and antenna, and know where to point your signal, you can do it. And it's *extremely* difficult to avoid, there are very few technical countermeasures. You can beam a more powerful carrier over the pirate, but this means you lose the bandwidth anyhow and, in case of an intentional interference, the pirate can just shift his frequency and start over.


It happens all the time accidentally. Sometimes amplifiers are defective, or they are inadvertently turned to the wrong frequency. These accidental interferences happen everywhere, and cost millions of dollars per year for every operator in terms of bandwidth that becomes unusable.


Since a satellite has a wide coverage area, it's very difficult to find the transmitter. There are some very expensive systems to locate interferences, they work based on small shifts in frequency and time that depend on the transmitter location, but these systems cannot locate a transmitter with an accuracy better than tens of miles. After finding the general area where the interference originates, one must sweep the whole region with a helicopter equipped with a directional antenna. Very messy and very expensive.

Re:How? (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716413)

Just adding some links to my post, this is one of the systems used to locate interferences [tls2000.com] . Of course, in the marketing they present one of the most accurate results they have, normally the precision is not that good. And that same company also does the final search [tls2000.com] for the interfering transmitter.

Re:How? (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716637)

Communications satellites normally have no protection at all, if you know the right frequency, have a powerful enough transmitter and antenna, and know where to point your signal, you can do it.

Interesting! Gives a whole new meaning to "hacking" (as in "Sri Lankan terrorists hack satellite"), too...

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716655)

That's fascinating.

Doesn't that mean that anyone could do a denial-of-service attack against any satellite broadcaster, such as DirecTV or Sky in the UK? An attack that would be hard to stop, extremely disruptive to the service, and would only require a satellite transmitter of some sort. What measures can be taken to prevent this?

I imagine that digital satellite services are encrypted before uplink, so you can't actually hijack channels with pirate services. But if I understand what you have said correctly, anyone can still disrupt the uplink by broadcasting noise with an appropriate frequency and direction. Sounds exactly like the sort of thing a terrorist might be interested in doing.

Re:How? (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716339)

There is no access key. The transponder simply takes what comes into the receiver in a specific frequency band, shifts the frequency, and retransmits it. Most of the security is derived from the difficulty and expense of constructing and operating an earth station. One transponder can be shared among many users. Proper operation of the transponder is dependent on the users voluntarily following the rules regarding frequency, bandwidth and power level. An incompetent or hostile user can effectively jam the transponder.

Not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716463)

A transponder receives a frequency band, amplifies it, and sends it back down to earth shifted a bit. The transmitter on the satellite is usually set up to cover the target area, i.e. US or Europe or something, so no there really aren't any access controls, except getting your hands on the satellite transmission equipment and pointing the dish.

Controlling the satellite, now that's a different story. That's locked up pretty tightly

Re:How? (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716601)

There is typically no security at all on either the up or downlinks of commercial satellites. (Station keeping uplinks are encrypted pretty good though) Transponders generally operate over a wide bandwidth so it is not feasible just to switch one off as it would also switch off many (sometimes hundreds or thousands of) paying customers. Usually the best that can be done to prevent unwanted signals is to try and drown them out with a higher SNR, though on a heavily loaded satellite this is sometimes not possible due to the power requirements needed for normal operations.

Finding a satellite and frequency to use is as simple as looking up azimuth and elevation from any on line database (there are many) and then pointing your dish in the right direction.

One could set up a fairly decent packet switched network or video link for about $250,000 US dollars. I'm certain it could be done for much less money if you shop around or get creative with a few spare cable modems.

Where do they get the skills? (1, Flamebait)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715991)

I work in aviation and a co-worker of mine is Tamil. I started to wonder what we was doing with his spare time when I found out about the Tamil Tiger air force [sibernews.com] . It wasn't the fact that they had planes which got me, it was the fact that they bought a simulator to go with them. These guys make Al Qaeda look like a bunch of amateurs.

I can't help thinking that more than a few of the Sri Lankan people who have gone into tech jobs in the west are working behind the scenes for these people.

Re:Where do they get the skills? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716293)

I work in aviation and a co-worker of mine is Tamil. I started to wonder what we was doing with his spare time when I found out about the Tamil Tiger air force.

A Tamil might be an Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian or Singaporean. Just because your coworker is a Tamil doesn't automatically mean he is an Sri Lankan and working in underground for Tamil Tigers. There are lot Tamil people who hate Tamil Tigers as much as people who support them.

Re:Where do they get the skills? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716349)

There are lot Tamil people who hate Tamil Tigers as much as people who support them.

Quite right, though in comparison with other similar groups, they do seem capable of pulling off some surprisingly complex actions.

Re:Where do they get the skills? (5, Insightful)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716333)

I am a Tamil, born in Sri Lanka, have lived nearly all my life in the UK, and work in a professional job here, as an IT consultant and am PROUD of it. I have been proud to work for my now native country, the UK, and have worked in BAe, and other companies.

Yet, because of the fact I am Tamil, you do gooders are supposed to now be looking at everything I do? It doesn't matter the fact that I have lived in the UK for so long, I cannot even speak Tamil properly.

Its bad enough, going to Sri Lanka, and being sometimes treated like dirt by immigration, customs, and checkpoints, simply because I was born in Jaffna, fearing I would be kidnapped or killed by extra-legal gangs, operating with apparent clandestine approval from authorities.

Should I expect the same treatment from my "friends"?

Should I likewise assume that every "white man" is a potential KKK, or BNP member?

I have many friends who are Singhalese (the 'other side'), who treat me as a brother.

Re:Where do they get the skills? (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716681)

Yes, I'm certainly with you there. I'm just a whitebread myself, and I only ever knew one Tamil in my life (and only in passing, too), but what the GP is alleging is really just xenophobic and racist. I'm going to give him some credit insofar as that I'll say I'm not sure whether he realises it is, but he certainly should start thinking before opening his mouth. Guilt by association is never nice, and when you base it on nationality/ethnicity/..., it's downright vile.

So, GP: don't go there. If you have concrete evidence and/or a reasonable belief that your co-worker is doing something illegal, report it to the relevant authorities; if not, leave the man alone.

Re:Where do they get the skills? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716453)

Why should they need technical help from people in the West?

One Sri Lankan company supplies trading systems to stock exchanges, including one of the largest in the US. I am not talking about outsourcing, but selling a complex product. Another company I know provides fairly high level IT consultancy from Sri Lanka.

Add to that Sri Lankan's traditional skill in improvisation and repair, and they have all they need at home - especially as they are based in Jaffna, an area that traditionally had very high standards of education (although I do not know how much that has been damaged by over two decades of war).

Re:Where do they get the skills? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716627)

Yeah well I hope you reserve the same suspicion for the decidedly non-Tamil Sinhala whack jobs who are trying to commit full scale race genocide of the ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka simply on the basis of Buddhist Fundamentalism (Sri Lanka is "Buddha's foot" to them and they want the Tamils dead, or wishing they were). I deplore the LTTE as much as the next reasonable guy but that does not change the fact that the Sri Lankan Tamils have a damn good case against the Sinhala Buddho-Fascists, some of whom would make historical Fascists in Europe shake in fear. I live closer to Sri Lanka than most non-Sri-Lankans here and there are Buddhist monks there who bless guns that blast schools full of Tamil children into oblivion, covert government-sponsored propagandaministeria that teach Sinhala Children that all Tamils are liars, thieves, cheats,parasites (Der Sturmer, anyone?) and a lot of other crap you wouldn't believe. Not that the LTTE are any better mind you. I don't condone their insanity, but I do understand it.

Not really suprising (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18715995)

Hacks of satellites have been predicted by experts numerous times before; the older ones were, rather worryingly, designed mostly with security by obscurity. Need uplink codes? Probably not a problem if you can get near to the ground station with appropriate equipment, no radio transmission is 100% directional.

IIRC it was one of the Blackhat conference speakers who outlined the nasty possibility of a satellite somewhere in a geosynchronous constellation being hijacked and deliberately crashed into another one. Given that this area is fairly densely populated, the debris could start a chain reaction and do a lot of damage.

Re:Not really suprising (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716109)

At 22K miles out, the small mass of the bird, limited station keeping fuel, and actually hitting another satellite would be beyond any technical skills available to terrorists and limit any collateral damage to other satellites. Maybe I'm wrong.

Re:Not really suprising (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716227)

Well, I forget the details. I imagine it would be difficult and probably only applicable to (relatively) dense constellations. Worries about debris in the geosynchronous range causing a slow chain reaction are real though and have been brought up before in other contexts, e.g. protests against the recent Chinese ASAT test.

Within days? (4, Funny)

remmelt (837671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18715997)

What, right after you pick the kids up from school, have a cup of coffee, do the dishes, visit granny, contemplate what to have for dinner?

We are surrounded by incompetence. Dilbert, save us!

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716031)

if the tamils keep bringing me stuff like this [youtube.com] ... i for one would like to welcome our new striped and fangy overlords.

Not original.... (5, Informative)

afa (801481) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716097)

F@-lun gong hacked SinoSat from Taiwan to broadcast their propaganda program to mainland china.

To read more:
http://www.google.com.sg/search?hl=en&q=falun+gong +sinosat+hack [google.com.sg]

Re:Not original.... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716143)

Presumably you spelled it F@-lun in order to evade the Great Firewall... but then in the URL you link to it's there plain as day. I think some Chinese censorware admin needs to update a little :-)

The same company the DoD is working with? (4, Insightful)

cindik (650476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716117)

This story (http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/ 12/1755218 [slashdot.org] ) about a DoD router in space says they're contracting with IntelSat.

According to this story, they've a) been hacked and b) have links to Hezbolah.

Why would our government involve a company that's incompetent and has links to terrori...

...never mind.

Damn you Intel! You screw up again! (1)

rewter (189441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716219)

Damn you Intel ! You screw up again!

You've got to admit though (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716301)

That hijacking a satellite is a pretty cool thing to do. Go on, imagine the scenario in a 4 Yorkshire Men style...

Terrorist 1: We hijacked an armoured vehicle!
Terrorist 2: That's nothing! We hijacked a boat!
Terrorist 3: Amateurs! We highjacked a plane!
Terrorist 4: We highjacked a satellite

Terrorist 1: And you try to tell the young people about that, they won't believe you!
Terrorist 3: They won't!

Re:You've got to admit though (1)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716621)

You are spoiled. In my time, we had to hijack terrestrial mast transmitters and send our messages barefoot both in Tx and Rx. And we were happy!

Hacking satellite is not new (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716511)

I remember using my 300 bauds modem to make free long distance calls.

Some basic facts: (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716513)

The state adjacent to Sri Lanka in India is also populated by Tamils. The State government is very sympathetic to the Tigers in Sri Lanka. Most parties in that state notionally support the Sri Lankan Tamils, even the Congress party whose leader and ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the Tigers. The current ruling party of that state was a pioneer in using Sattelite TV transmissions and owns many TV channels. When the TV was a Govt of India's monopoly (in the 1990s), that party used to make TV programes in Chennai, India, and send the tape to Phillipines and uplink from that country. That TV network, SunTV, and its sister channels are heavily infiltrated by the Tiger Cadres and sympathizers. I am very sure the hijack is done with active help and collusion of SunTV conglomerate insiders on the technical divistion.

It might not have been approved by the higher ups either in the family/party. India's Minister for Communication Kalanidhi Maran, is a nephew of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and their family owns the SunTV conglomerate. Tigers are to be feared, their pledge of alligiance to their leader Prabakaran supercedes any other consideration.

Trying hard to present NPoV without my biases. Hope I succeeded.

Hack Arr... (3, Funny)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716629)

These guys ARE pirates and hackers!!!!! I feel membership applications are gonna flow from the /. community...

gov4t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18716683)

That has lost that the project The latest Netcraft 40,,00 workstations large - keep your claim that BSD is a Very distracting to Cans can become

Cyberpunks rejoice (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18716689)

Bill Gibson is probably having himself a nice drink right about now.
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