Satellite Radio Hacks

Hacking has been there since anything had a password and somebody broke into the system. As in any system, the possibility of somebody breeching the protocol is always there. Satellite Radio is no different, and many people have been able to successfully hack the satellite radio services. The internet has many such techniques listed on many sites and discussed on many forums. There are even sites that hold competitions for hacking into different applications and services, and the best hackers are awarded prizes.

There is a particular thread in a forum which is discussing about hacking into a satellite radio service, to avoid paying the subscription fees. The person discussing the matter is pointing out that certain radio stations from satellites do not have any encryption and therefore can be directly picked up by the proper equipment and the right satellite radio antenna. Another person has posted an answer saying that it is possible by purchasing a receiver and antenna for S-Band frequency which is 2310 to 2690 MHz. This range of frequency is used by XM and Sirius satellite radio. Also a radio scanner is needed. After the people concerned have looked into the cost involved in hacking a satellite radio they feel that the $12 subscription fee works cheaper!

The question is can anybody really hack into a satellite radio service, and how easy it is to do so? According to many posts on various internet forums, it seems that hacking a satellite radio is not that easy. Many have tried various techniques but not quite achieved the desired result. Many have taken apart satellite radio units, taken apart tsops, the rom10x and still it was a no go. Hackers have found that in the radios there is not much for the companies to do but just simple key based encryption, like a direct FTA, but still there is not much the hackers are able to do.

There is a direct technique given in one of the forums to hack a XM radio. The things needed are a DishNet or a BEV receiver. This device should have the JTAG port or the JTAG programmer. You will have to first subscribe to XM service then install a TSOP lock. Later you can cancel the service, and since your TSOP is locked you will still be receiving the service. You can also take another person's XM radio and remove its TSOP. You can install this into the DishNet or BEV receiver, and use a JTAG to read it, and then save the whole thing. You can then put a blank TSOP into the receiver and then copy the read BIN onto it. Put this into a new XM radio and you will be enjoying free XM radio. This technique is simple and many have tried it successfully.

Another form of hacking is the recording of signals onto a computer so that you do not have to pay for the music from a download store. As satellite radio companies are using more CD-quality signals over air waves, the recording companies are fearing more of such programs will be hacked and their sales will take a downward turn.