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Hardware Hacking Transportation Technology

How To Take Control of a Car's Electronics, Cheap 109

Posted by timothy
from the at-that-point-you've-already-controlled-the-door dept.
mspohr writes with this excerpt from The Register: "Spanish hackers have been showing off their latest car-hacking creation; a circuit board using untraceable, off-the-shelf parts worth $20 that can give wireless access to the car's controls while it's on the road. The device, which will be shown off at next month's Black Hat Asia hacking conference, uses the Controller Area Network (CAN) ports car manufacturers build into their engines for computer-system checks. Once assembled, the smartphone-sized device can be plugged in under some vehicles, or inside the bonnet of other models, and give the hackers remote access to control systems. 'A car is a mini network,' security researcher Alberto Garcia Illera told Forbes. 'And right now there's no security implemented.'"
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How To Take Control of a Car's Electronics, Cheap

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  • No security? BS. That would suggest that all one has to do is lift the skirt and look. That's not the case, however, since not all the data is easily sniffed. Seems this is just a product leak/blurb to build a brand, nothing else.
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      It's only use is as a gadget in CSI for the gang to figure out to determine it was the husband that sabotaged the wife's car and drove her off a cliff, after all, the husband would need physical access, and he'd have it, as he has a set of keys.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @02:30PM (#46197081) Journal
    The hacker has to physically install a dongle in the port, or plug the hard ware somewhere under the hood of the car. Once that is done, it would be possible to control the cars electronics remotely.
  • Bluetooth ODB-II? (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @02:34PM (#46197103) Journal

    And how does this differ from the Bluetooth ODB-II connector I use to stream car data to my cell phone? That is wireless and also requires being plugged into the diagnostic port on the car.

    I can pull all sorts of data from that. If I spend a little more, I can get a full CAN-bus connection and actually *send* information and control things.

    This isn't hacking. It is a product demo for VW.

    • From what I understand, cars have multiple CAN networks, all isolated from each other. There is at *least* 3 in most modern cars. One for infotainment (cars stereos and heating/fan control), 1 for basic control diagnostics (that's the one under the dashboard), and one for the engine (this one is usually a P.I.T.A. to get into as they don't leave open ports plug into). If they've managed to get into the engine CAN through one of the more accessible CAN's, then they've done one hell of a job!
      • Most cars have a high speed CAN, for all functions needing messages at a rate of about 10 or 20 ms like Abs, engine, etc. There is also a low speed CAN, which is used for things like heating, and low rate signals of about 100 and 200 ms. The advantage of low speed CAN is that it can be put into low power and use it to wake up devices, like a wake up on LAN. I Then there is the LIN bus. This is a low speed, single wire cheap bus. It is used for things like wipers. These are the basic three buses.

        Cars like BM

    • I spend a little more, I can get a full CAN-bus connection and actually *send* information and control things.

      No, you can't send over CAN this way, at least not without risking messing up the core structure of your network. Most nodes in vehicle CAN send messages periodically. Each message type has a unique id, and sending two messages with the same id at the same time can result in collisions. But even if these don't collide, they will get overwritten right after by the next real message. If the inconsistencies are bad enough, the safety fuses will catch them and shut the system down. Any respected automotive OEM

  • Physical Access (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pcgeek21 (3530333) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @02:38PM (#46197131)
    This issue surrounds physical access to the vehicle, at which point no amount of security is going to be able to protect it (it will only make it more difficult to do). Adding security would make it significantly more difficult for mechanics and enthusiasts to work with their vehicles. My vote is towards adding a notification light on the dash board for when a device is connected to the vehicle's computer (that cannot be turned off by the computer [e.g. controlled by an auxiliary system]), which would notify the user that something is not right (if they did not connect something).
    • "This issue surrounds physical access to the vehicle, at which point no amount of security is going to be able to protect it (it will only make it more difficult to do). Adding security would make it significantly more difficult for mechanics and enthusiasts to work with their vehicles."

      But "more difficult" might be the right thing to do.

      It's true that it might make mechanics' jobs slightly more difficult. But what you said is kind of like saying locks on doors are pointless "because no amount of security is enough if you have physical access". In truth, there are few locks that a skilled locksmith can't pick open given a little time. But that doesn't mean a lock that can be picked in 5 seconds or no lock at all is a good solution in most cases.

    • Honestly I'm not sure this is particularly worth worrying about. Maybe cars have changed, but last time I was messing around with CAN in a car, it couldn't do very much. It's not like they are going to be able to drive the car remotely. But they will be able to get some telemetric data.
  • "Spanish hackers have been showing off their latest car-hacking creation; a circuit board using untraceable, off-the-shelf parts worth $20 that can give wireless access to the car's controls while it's on the road... the smartphone-sized device can be plugged in under some vehicles, or inside the bonnet of other models, and give the hackers remote access to control systems.

    That's like saying I can get wireless access to your server, provided you let me have physical access first so I can plug in my wireless NIC.

    • To be fair, you don't keep your server in your driveway. Or maybe you do? :)

      I don't know how easy it is to find the connector though. In theory, cars should be able to tell if external devices are connected.

      • "To be fair, you don't keep your server in your driveway. Or maybe you do? :)"

        With the temperatures we have in Montreal, it would make a hell of an overclock...

  • What company directs 25% of its users to a partially-working, not-ready-for-production website? Please realize that Beta will not have the features that we want, because it goes against Dice's plans for Slashdot. To their advertisers, Dice presents Slashdot as a "Social Media for B2B Technology" [slashdotmedia.com] platform. B2B - that's the reason Beta looks like a generic wordpress-based news site. A large precentage of the current userbase might be in IT, but /. is most certainly not a B2B site.

    Nevertheless, Dice is despera

    • by dcollins (135727)

      Mod this up.

    • What is $6.3 million of goodwill, anyway?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "Goodwill" is an accounting term for the amount paid for the purchase of a company above the total value of the physical parts of the company. It's the premium one pays for the "name value".

        For example, a bakery buying the "Hostess" brand name would buying "goodwill", since the brand name has no tangible value.

        "Writing down" the goodwill means admitting that it isn't worth what they paid for it, either because they paid too much or because they did silo etching to make it less valuable.

        Dice apparently is gu

    • I have expected Dice to kill slashdot ever since I heard that they bought it because I cannot imagine anyway to make slashdot a profit center. The best I can see is for it to do is to pay for itself and perhaps a little bit more, but not enough return to justify it to the accountants. I think if I was in Dice management I could make a case for it on the basis of the good will it generates and the ability to data mine it to predict technology trends (the only reason to actually capture user information in th
  • Just imagine all the chemical and physics hacks you can do once gain access to a car's hardware!

    • Yeah, I've heard you can hack the tires to no longer hold air, by using a tool as simple as a knife! And what's worse, you need not even access to the inner parts of the car. The vulnerable part is right on the surface!

      I've also heard that cars get regularly hacked by martens. This includes quite dangerous hacks like killing the brakes.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        lol.. That reminds me of a situation about 20 years ago or so. Locked the keys in the car in the middle of nowhere and hacked the door lock with a rock through the window.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seems my comment is a reaction to the useless Slashdot-Beta.

  • I'm really not too worried about it, so long as any wireless connectivity is secured.

    Old cars had zilch for security. Wanted to take off with it? On really old cars, just cut and twist a few wires, cross two more momentarily, and you're off. Not even a column lock to get in the way.

    More recent cars? Hmm, prior to electronic keys (and keys with resistor values, i.e., GM ignition keys), slide-hammer the ignition and use a screwdriver to turn it, or if the column under the dash is acceptable, just pull and jum

  • I will type a line and hit return here: And then type another line. I will now type a paragraph HTML command here:

    And then type another line, followed by another paragraph code here:

    This will prove to myself whether or not Beta, in all of it's innovative wonder, will finally allow Slashdot to recognise a return command.

    That is all.

  • Wait, someone can control something by physically plugging something into a control port designed for that purpose?

    It's a neat trick, but if the bad guy has physical access, it doesn't take a wireless dongle in the CAN port to mess shit up...

  • Am I the only one that thinks car manufacturers reactions to these "hacks" is just going to be heavy DRM on the bus, more nickel-and-diming for unlocking features, and more expensive parts because third parties are locked out because of the DMCA?

    Right now in agriculture, everything is quite proprietary on the bus, but having it free and open would be a huge boon. There is no DRM at this time, but the protocols themselves are closely guarded secrets. In an ideal world, one companies' GPS receiver should wo

  • Hackers hacked into home networks using off-the-shelf cheap ethernet cables, by plugging those into ethernet ports of home routers.
  • After Richard Clarke, fmr. national security advistor to bush jr. amd clinton, publicly brought up the concern that journalist Hastings was murdered, the trolls insisted that such control over a car wasn't possible. Well, here you go. If these guys can rig up a car, you bet your ass the feds can.
  • I'll take care of the squealing, wretched, pinhead puppets of Gotham!

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai

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