After launching its beta service to select customers across the United States and Canada, Elon Musk’s satellite internet constellation, Starlink, is set to launch in Lebanon as soon as 2022.
Last year, Lebanese computer science researcher Nadim Kobeissi asked Elon Musk on Twitter to position one of his satellites over Lebanon. His tweet quickly gained traction among other Lebanese Twitter users, many of which have to rely on slow and unreliable internet connections that are behind the rest of the world.
To everyone’s surprise, Musk replied, assuring Nadim that Starlink would provide global coverage. Well, it’s now clear that Musk was serious because pre-orders are already available with a fully refundable deposit of $99. The deposit will go toward the cost of the hardware kit ($499), the monthly service fee ($99 a month), and the shipping & handling fee (varies from region to region).
The fine print states that paying the deposit doesn’t guarantee availability. Instead, the deposit gives the payer’s order a higher priority in their region for ordering Starlink when it becomes available in the future.
Those who receive the Starlink kit can look forward to data speeds between 50 Mbps and 150 Mbps and latency from 20 ms to 40 ms, which is good enough for online gaming, high-definition streaming, and video conferencing. Both speed and latency are promised to keep improving as SpaceX, the company behind Starlink, launches more satellites and improves its software.
Already, around 1,000 Starlink satellites have been launched into orbit, but SpaceX has sought approval for tens of thousands more. Other private companies that are planning to launch satellite internet constellations include OneWeb, Amazon, Samsung, and Boeing.
At the moment, satellite internet access is aimed mostly at people living in rural and hard-to-reach locations, where wired connectivity has typically been a challenge. As the technology improves and the number of satellites in orbit increases, it’s possible that it will become a viable alternative to broadband internet even in otherwise well-connected areas.
It still isn’t clear whether or not the Lebanese government will formally allow the use of Starlink within the country as Ogero, Lebanon’s state telecommunications operator, doesn’t allow the use of Internet services that don’t pass through their network. It will be interesting to see what their take is on the matter.
LastPass Has Revealed Yet Another Security Breach
It’s been revealed that the popular password manager was hacked using intel gained from a previous August 2022 attack.
The CEO of LastPass, Karim Toubba, has revealed that the leading password manager has suffered another serious data breach. Toubba said that LastPass engineers detected unusual activity from a third-party cloud storage service in August 2022 — a service shared with parent company GoTo, which readers may remember by its former name of LogMeIn.
Security firm Mandiant was hired to investigate the suspicious incident, and together, they uncovered that the unauthorized person(s) gained access to LastPass cloud services using information obtained from a previous security breach in August of this year. The latest incident is thought to be rather serious, giving the criminal party access to “certain elements” of customer information.
When the password manager’s systems were breached back in August, Toubba says that after an investigation, the unauthorized party was found to have had internal access to LastPass systems for four days. The hacker was able to steal source code and some technical information, but security engineers said customer data and password vaults remained safe.
In a separate but related announcement, parent company GoTo has admitted that hackers gained entry into its own development environment of remote work tools. Echoing the statement from LastPass, GoTo has assured customers that its services are functioning fine despite the data breach. Both LastPass and its parent company are still investigating the scope of the incidents, and we’ll likely hear more details over the coming months.