SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service has become invaluable to Ukraine amidst the country’s ongoing war against Russia. According to Elon Musk, however, Russia has increased its efforts to disrupt Starlink’s service to Ukraine.
Fortunately, Musk also stated that Russia has not been successful so far. Despite the country’s efforts to jam or hack the satellite internet system, Starlink is proving to be quite resilient.
“Starlink has resisted Russian cyberwar jamming & hacking attempts so far, but they’re ramping up their efforts,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
Musk also posted a link to a Reuters article that described how Russia initiated a cyberattack against satellite internet provider Viasat in February. The attacks, which resulted in thousands of Viasat users in Ukraine losing internet access, happened as Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his troops into the country.
The UK Government stated in a press release that Russia’s efforts against Viasat in Ukraine affected even internet users outside the country. Viasat customers from other EU member countries reported losing their internet connection when the war began as well.
Viasat has stated that “tens of thousands of terminals have been damaged, made inoperable and cannot be repaired.”
Starlink, on the other hand, has been able to avoid Russia’s attacks so far. This is not to say that there were no attempts to disrupt the satellite internet system, however. Dave Tremper, a Pentagon official, stated in April that Russia had attempted a jamming attack against Starlink. SpaceX fought off the cyberattack at a speed that exceeded that of the US military.
In a statement to Russian state media, Roscosmos Space Chief Dmitry Rogozin expressed his frustrations with Elon Musk and Starlink’s satellite service, which now serves an estimated 150,000 users in Ukraine every day. Rogozin issued a subtle threat to Musk, noting that the CEO would be held “accountable” for his contributions to the war.