Re: ISS SSTV Project - Computer Breach

Bob Rozhon

I'm not arguing hacking or not on 145.800. As a new ham I really anticipate SSTV from the ISS. When someone screws up that opportunity for many other Hams so he or she can say "look what I did" will never be ok with me. Hacking or not, this action is irresponsible.

                                Robert R

On Saturday, August 3, 2019, 11:38:16 PM CDT, daron wilson <daron@...> wrote:



1.       Yes, MMSSTV is a computer program with remote access ( I didn’t realize that, but clearly others did).  The program, as operated by the control operator, ALLOWS for remote control and reception of an image and apparently retransmission.

2.       Yes, it is running on the ISS under a control operator’s callsign, the control operator is responsible for every transmission from the station.  Should the control operator NOT want to have others control his station, he is completely responsible for the configuration of the station.  I operate numerous repeaters and digital stations, and I am specifically responsible for every transmission that I allow to be repeated.  If something shows up and is inappropriate, I shut down the repeater and don’t repeat it.  However, if I open the repeater to general amateur use, and someone transmits a message, it isn’t hacking, it is use of the system as designed.

3.       No, there are no published instruction saying that one cannot transmit on 145.800 to the program ( that I am aware of, if you have such a publication from the control operator, please share it).  The amateur radio operator used the software as provided, he didn’t access anything that was not made accessible by the control operator, modify any parameters to gain control, or ‘hack’ anything.  He simply used a feature of the software running  on the ISS to retransmit his signal.  By your definition, anyone using a repeater, packet node, Winlink node, etc. is ‘hacking’ because he accesses a remote computer and uses the software running on that computer to cause a transmission to occur.  That…is not hacking.

4.       Interference is tricky.  The user did cause his transmission to occur instead of a preprogrammed static image, but it appears that is an enabled feature of the software.  If I run 200 watts into the local repeater and you run 2 watts, and my signal captures the receiver while yours does not, am I actually ‘interfering’ with your transmission?  No,  it isn’t an offense if I happen to capture the receiver instead of you, it just means that my signal captured the receiver.


At the end of the day, the user pointed out an error in the setup on the ISS, if the ISS actually does NOT approve of the SSTV repeat function.  If, as the control operator, they choose to not allow that function, they simply need to disable it and move on.


You are way over the top on this ‘hacking’ thing.  They guy simply knew more about the software than the rest of us, and used a function that was enabled by the control operator to get his signal repeated.  No malicious intent, no crime, no ‘breach’,  he used the software as intended.  Unfortunately, the control op should have disabled this function if he didn’t want it used.


Have a pina colada, relax, and wait for the next pass.





From: [] On Behalf Of Clint Bradford via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, August 03, 2019 8:43 PM
Subject: Re: [Work-Sat] ISS SSTV Project - Computer Breach


Daron - Tell me where my logic and thinking are flawed -

1. MMSSTV is a computer program.
2. It is running on the ISS on one of their computers.
3. Someone who is not authorized to access that computer accesses it.

THAT is the classic definition of "hacking." Doesn't need to be destructive. The mere 
intrusion into a computer owned by someone else is a crime - in many jurisdictions 
(including Canadian law).

4. That person interferes with the public SSTV session. And broadcasts his own images.

THAT is where - in many jurisdictions - the crime is treated more severely than mere access. In many 
states in the U.S., for example, that's is the difference between prosecuting for a misdemeanor 
versus a felony.

The ISS' SSTV program has been interrupted due to this breach. There is no defense. Makes no 
difference if he has a callsign and is operating on legal frequencies. This is not a "ham experiment." 
This is an intentional, criminal breach by a hacker.



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