Brazilian radio-cops are handing out $20,000 fines to satellite hackers who bounce their ham signals off FLTSATCOM -- an array of disused US military satellites -- using them as range-extenders for purposes as diverse as trucker-chatter to avoiding the logging cops in illegal Amazon logging operations:
The Great Brazilian Sat-Hack Crackdown
To use the satellite, pirates typically take an ordinary ham radio transmitter, which operates in the 144- to 148-MHZ range, and add a frequency doubler cobbled from coils and a varactor diode. That lets the radio stretch into the lower end of FLTSATCOM's 292- to 317-MHz uplink range. All the gear can be bought near any truck stop for less than $500. Ads on specialized websites offer to perform the conversion for less than $100. Taught the ropes, even rough electricians can make Bolinha-ware.
"I saw it more than once in truck repair shops," says amateur radio operator Adinei Brochi (PY2ADN) "Nearly illiterate men rigged a radio in less than one minute, rolling wire on a coil."
Brochi, who assembled his first radio set from spare parts at 12, has been tracking the Brazilian satellite hacking problem (.pdf) for years.
Brochi says the Pentagon's concerns are obvious.
"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."
(Photo: Divulgação/Polícia Federal)
A Pittsburgh-area man was charged with disorderly conduct after telling Verizon store staff that he was “definitely part of ISIS” and talking about ISIS on the store’s demo handsets. When asked to leave the store, Fleming said “he wouldn’t leave the store and that he was definitely part of ISIS,” the complaint said. He also […]
Last year’s Hello Barbie chatbot toy sent all your kid’s speech to cloud servers operated by Mattel and its tech partner, but only when your kid held down Barbie’s listen button — new chatbot toys like My Friend Cayla and the i-Que Intelligent Robot are in constant listening mode — as is your “OK Google” […]
If you’re one of the 60% of Pebble employees who didn’t get a job offer from Fitbit, the company’s new owner, you’re probably not having a great Christmas season — but that trepedation is shared by 100% of Pebble customers, who’ve just learned (via the fine print on an update on the Pebble Kickstarter page) […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]