Elon Musk warns Russia is now spying on Starlink internet gifted to Ukraine – and urges ‘use with care’

ELON Musk has warned Ukrainians via his emergency satellite internet that there is a “high” chance Russia will try to spy on them.

The billionaire donated a truckload of crockery to the war-torn country whose communications have been attacked by Russian forces.

Musk recently donated oodles of Starlink satellite dishes to Ukraine


Musk recently donated oodles of Starlink satellite dishes to UkrainePhoto credit: AFP
"Please use with caution" Musk warns


“Please use with caution,” Musk warnsPhoto credit: @elonmusk

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But the Starlink owner has warned Ukraine to “use with caution”.

“Important warning,” he tweeted.

“Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still functioning in some parts of Ukraine, so the likelihood of being targeted is high.”

Starlink uses thousands of satellites in space to beam the internet back to Earth, rather than traditional ground cables.

Mr Musk offered his help after he a desperate request by the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Mykhailo Fedorov – who is also Ukraine’s digital minister – said Starlink has played a key role in keeping emergency services connected and saving lives.

However, with some areas experiencing blackouts, he warned the country now needs generators to keep the dishes going.

Mr Musk replied he had updated the software to reduce peak power consumption, meaning Starlink can be powered from a car cigarette lighter.

He has also enabled mobile roaming capabilities, allowing moving vehicles to stay online.

Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Everything you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…

“Solar panels + battery pack better than generator as no heat signature or smoke and no fuel runs out,” he said.

But the SpaceX founder urged people to turn on Starlink only when needed and to place dishes “as far away from people as possible.”

“Place light camouflage over the antenna to avoid visual detection,” he added.

Hacking satellites “reason to go to war”

It comes after Vladimir Putin’s space chief said it was satellite hacking “A reason to go to war”amid reports from the hacking group Anonymous Shut down Roscosmos.

Dmitry Rogozin denied the agency was hurt, but addressed a chilling message to anyone who might try.

“I would like to warn anyone who tries that it is essentially a crime that should be severely punished,” he told Russian media.

“Because the disabling of a country’s satellite group is generally a casus belli, that is, a reason to go to war.

“And we will look for those who organized it.

“We will send all the necessary materials to the Federal Security Service, the investigative committee and the Attorney General’s Office so that appropriate criminal proceedings can be opened.”

What is Starlink?

Starlink is a satellite project launched in 2015 by billionaire SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Musk intends to launch 12,000 satellites into Earth orbit over the next decade, potentially to 42,000 in the future.

The “mega constellation” will eventually be able to broadcast internet coverage anywhere in the world, according to SpaceX.

The California-based company says its network will provide users with high-speed, low-latency Internet coverage.

Latency is the time it takes to send data from one point to the next.

Because Starlink satellites are 60 times closer to Earth than most satellites, SpaceX WiFi latency is lower than traditional satellite internet.

The company sends out its satellites in batches of 60 at a time and has put more than 1,400 into orbit since 2019.

They will be launched from Cape Carnaveral in Florida on Falcon 9 unmanned rockets also being built by SpaceX.

The impact of low-orbiting technology on viewing the night sky is a major concern, as they appear brighter than many stars and planets.

Astronomers and amateur stargazers have repeatedly attacked SpaceX for ruining their observations.

The company argues that its satellites are only bright shortly after launch because they are in low orbit.

Over the course of several weeks, the satellites move further away from Earth and apparently dampen their effect on space observations.

Musk has thousands of Internet satellites in Low Earth orbit


Musk has thousands of Internet satellites in Low Earth orbitPhoto credit: Getty

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Fry Electronics Team

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