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Elon Musk Sends an Important Warning to Ukrainians

Tesla's CEO made a big move recently to give Ukrainians access to a fast and secure internet despite the Russian invasion.
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Like the rest of the world, Elon Musk seems to be following the Russian war in Ukraine closely. 

The CEO of the luxury electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report seems to monitor access to the means of communication allowing Ukrainians not to be cut off from the world and above all to continue to tell the world about their daily life in order to avoid Russian propaganda.

The billionaire thus noted that internet access had become almost impossible for many Ukrainians. 

A few days after having Starlink terminals sent to Ukraine earlier this week, a satellite internet constellation operated by his other company SpaceX, Musk issued a dire warning on Thursday.

He indeed delivered bad news to many Ukrainians, by announcing that there was a high probability that Starlink terminals would be targeted by malicious actors. The goal of these hackers is to prevent Ukrainians from having access to an independent, fast and secure internet.

Caution

"Important warning: Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so probability of being targeted is high. Please use with caution," the billionaire warned on his Twitter account followed by more than 76 millions users.

Musk, as usual, did not provide additional information. For example, he did not explain what precautions to take or what precautions he recommended. His warning has unsurprisingly raised a lot of questions from users.

"Hey @elonmusk any advice on how to use with caution? This is in regards to messages being sent using starlink?" one user asked.

To everyone's surprise, Musk answered him and gave two pieces of advice in quick succession.

"Turn on Starlink only when needed and place antenna away as far away from people as possible," the billionaire responded.

And added:

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"Place light camouflage over antenna to avoid visual detection."

Another user tried to explain what the whimsical businessman meant through his warning.

"I think what @elonmusk is hinting is that Russians could target Starlink signal users by triangulation of signal. Folks inside the National Security Council have expressed some concern," the user posted following a comment of Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov who said: " Sure, @elonmusk. We are going to use them for Ukrainians also after our victory."

Starlink, the first consumer product from Musk's SpaceX company, is high-speed internet powered by a network of thousands of small low-orbit satellites. 

It enables residents of areas poorly served by the fixed and mobile networks of telecom operators to access the Internet. The thousands of small satellites circulate in low orbit -- mainly 342 miles or 550 kilometers above Earth. 

The system also needs ground stations all around the globe communicating with the satellites.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukraine has been regularly targeted by cyberattacks carried out by Russian operators, according to the country's IT security agency. That's raised fears for the country's telecommunications networks.

SpaceX has already launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites, with an overall goal of launching about 12,000.

Recently, SpaceX launched a second shipment of about 50 Starlink satellites intended to provide internet connections to customers worldwide without going through terrestrial infrastructures.

Musk's plan to turn SpaceX, his rocket and space tech company, into a firm capable of transporting people to the moon and Mars rests on the profitability of Starlink.

The company debuted Starlink Premium, an internet broadband service that costs five times its standard service, a few weeks ago. The standard service costs $499 for the hardware and $99 a month.

Musk and his company also have supplied Starlink terminals to recently volcano-hit Tonga, in the South Pacific Ocean, to provide internet access to isolated and remote villages.