Spacex, a space expedition company that makes unmanned rockets owned by Elon Musk, has a very visible potential problem. We wanted to ensure the highest quality report on this issue, so it’s taken two years to put this together.
Spacex has a live stream where you can watch their takeoffs and landings, which we link to below. To most, this looks fine, however when the rocket is re-entering orbit it attempts to establish a link with a drone ship it is supposed to land on. This is where things could potentially possibly go wrong. When the rocket attempts to establish a connection to the drone ship it opens the potential for the rocket to be hijacked by a malicious actor.
Spacex employees that we’ve spoken to in the last two years did not deny this as a potential issue.
What is this issue? How does it work? When the drone rocket is trying to land on the drone ship, it initializes a connection that isn’t verbally answered immediately by the ship which might if not properly secured would give an attacker a potential window of time to hijack the drone rocket and making it go wherever they want, which could be a cataclysmic disaster if this happened. The reason we are saying potential is because we have not been authorized to test this issue. Would this issue be exploitable from your home? No, you would have to be in the vicinity of the drone ship, say with a submarine.
Elon musk has yet to respond for a request for comment.