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Elon Musk warns Starlink system could be 'targeted' in Ukraine, advises users to camouflage the antenna and to place the device far away from people

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk addresses members of the media during a press conference announcing new developments of the Crew Dragon reusable spacecraft, at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California on October 10, 2019.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says Starlink users in Ukraine should turn on the system only when needed.PHILIP PACHECO/AFP via Getty Images
  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told Starlink users in Ukraine to turn on the system only when required.

  • Starlink users may be tracked via satellite signals and targeted, a security researcher told CNN.

  • Musk advised Ukraine users to place the antenna "as far away from people as possible."

Elon Musk is warning Starlink users in Ukraine to turn on the system "only when needed," as they may be targeted in the ongoing war.

Musk posted the warning on Twitter on Friday, writing, "Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so probability of being targeted is high."

The SpaceX CEO advised users to place the antenna as far away from people as possible and to cover the device with "light camouflage" to avoid detection.

A security researcher told CNN that anyone setting up a Starlink dish in Ukraine "needs to consider it as a potential giant target."

"If an adversary has a specialized plane aloft, it can detect [a satellite] signal and home in on it," the University of California at Berkeley's Nicholas Weaver explained to the network.

Musk said over the weekend SpaceX had activated its Starlink internet service in Ukraine after the country's Mykhailo Fedorov — who is also the minister of digital transformation — requested more Starlink stations as the Russian invasion is disrupting the country's internet services.

On Monday, Fedorov posted a photo that appears to show a truckload of Starlink terminals, saying they are now in the country and thanking SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

The terminals, which look like home satellite dishes, connect to Starlink satellites to access high-speed internet. A standard Starlink kit costs $499.

Read the original article on Business Insider