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The device will be presented at the Black Hat Asia security conference in Singapore next month

A team of Spanish security researchers is out to beef up auto security by showing its ability to hack a car with a device the size of your hand. 
 
According to Forbes, security researchers Javier Vazquez-Vidal and Alberto Garcia Illera plan to show a new device they've built at the Black Hat Asia security conference in Singapore next month -- and they're hoping it will be a wake-up call for the auto industry.
 
The device is called the CAN Hacking Tool (CHT) and it attaches via four wires to the Controller Area Network or CAN bus of a vehicle. It draws power from the car’s electrical system and allows an attacker to send wireless commands remotely from a computer. 
 
The researchers say it's as easy as lifting the hood real quick or simply sliding under the car to attach the device to a vehicle and walk away. 
 
From there, the attacker could switch off headlights, set off alarms, roll windows up and down, and access anti-lock brakes or emergency brakes. The researchers have already tested it on four different vehicles, although they won't reveal which makes and models.


CHT [SOURCE: Forbes]

For right now, the device only works using Bluetooth, which means it can be controlled from just a few feet away. But the research team said that by the time the conference rolls around next year, it will implement a GSM cellular radio, which will allow remote control of the vehicle from a few miles away. 
 
“It can take five minutes or less to hook it up and then walk away,” said Vazquez-Vidal. “We could wait one minute or one year, and then trigger it to do whatever we have programmed it to do.”
 
What makes matters worse is that the items needed to build the device can all easily be bought from store shelves, and costs under $20 total. 
 
Also, it's nearly impossible to trace the attacker, according to the researchers.
 
The team said they built the device to show automakers what attackers are capable of, and to call for greater security in cars, which are becoming increasingly connected and more vulnerable to hacks. 
 
“The goal isn’t to release our hacking tool to the public and say ‘take this and start hacking cars,’” says Vazquez-Vidal. “We want to reach the manufacturers and show them what can be done.”

Source: Forbes



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Lol what?
By Argon18 on 2/6/2014 12:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
"The researchers say it's as easy as lifting the hood real quick or simply sliding under the car to attach the device to a vehicle and walk away. "

Huh?

Which make and models of cars have a hood that can be opened "real quick"? Any car from the past few decades has the hood lock integrated with the factory alarm and immobilizer. So to "lift the hood real quick" you need the keys to the car.

Also how many vehicles can you "simply slide under"? Most cars and even SUV's have only a few inches of ground clearance, not nearly enough to get underneath it unassisted.

Lastly, the photo shows a device with bare wires that must be spliced into the CAN bus. How many vehicles have exposed CAN bus wiring on the underside of the car? Zero? The CAN bus wiring runs inside the cabin, with portions in the engine bay, none of which is accessible from the underside of the car.

What a bunch of nonsense.




RE: Lol what?
By Dr of crap on 2/6/2014 12:24:46 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with your last two items.
But the first one you are wrong.
None of my four cars is immobile or sets of an alarm if the hood is opened. BUT you'd need to have a door open so you could get inside to release the hood lock.

I agree this is a load of crap.

WHERE can you just hook up to the CAN under the car???


RE: Lol what?
By Etsp on 2/6/2014 1:52:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think the alarm/immobile thing comes into play if the doors weren't properly unlocked when the hood lock gets released.

By "properly" I mean by either using the key in the door or using the button on the key fob.


RE: Lol what?
By JediJeb on 2/6/2014 3:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
BUT you'd need to have a door open so you could get inside to release the hood lock.


If you try hard enough, on some you can use a pair of needle nose pliers and reach in and grab the hood latch cable and pull it just right and unlock the hood. It is not easy, but also not impossible.


RE: Lol what?
By flatrock on 2/7/2014 9:11:29 AM , Rating: 2
I just read an article on Car and Driver which contained an interesting hack among a lot of fluff and some inaccuracies.

Apparently some Swiss researchers cam up with the idea of using a directional antenna and a radio repeater to extend the range of a car's key fob. They didn't break the encryption or create their own fob for access, but while you are across the parking lot headed into a building they can make your car think you are standing right next to the door, and just press the button on the handle to unlock the door.

Stick a ELM327 wifi dongle into the CAN port and they are in business. Use a directional wifi antenna and they can communicate with the CAN bus from another vehicle without much difficulty.

It requires proximity and leave evidence behind, but it's still a bit scary.


RE: Lol what?
By AntiM on 2/6/2014 12:32:03 PM , Rating: 3
What if you worked for Jiffy Lube and someone paid you $500 for every one you installed?


RE: Lol what?
By FITCamaro on 2/6/2014 1:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
They could also just pay you to get the keys and then say that your car must have been stolen after they finished with it and it was sitting in the parking lot.


RE: Lol what?
By chµck on 2/6/2014 1:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
This can be used for more than stealing a car.
How about causing a deadly "accident"?


RE: Lol what?
By superflex on 2/6/2014 3:03:06 PM , Rating: 1
Ask Michael Hastings how his car suddenly accelerated into a tree and burst into flames.
That's right. You cant because he's dead for what he knew.
Yes, the technology is there and you should be worried.


RE: Lol what?
By MrBlastman on 2/7/2014 11:41:00 AM , Rating: 1
Darn straight. The death list from the Obummer administration keeps growing every day. I think he's on track to whack more people than the Clintons did.


RE: Lol what?
By JediJeb on 2/6/2014 3:55:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if you worked for Jiffy Lube and someone paid you $500 for every one you installed?


Jiffy Lube would be a good place, but even better how about working for the dealership. Imagine placing a hacking device in all the vehicles you service at the dealer or even before they are sold!


RE: Lol what?
By Solandri on 2/6/2014 4:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
Any place with valet parking. The cars (and owners/victims) will be more upscale too.


RE: Lol what?
By Spuke on 2/6/2014 5:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
You guys must all drive trucks. Good luck trying to get under my car. Make sure to bring your NASCAR floor jack (that wouldn't look out of place). And Bluetooth? You'd have to be in the back seat (I don't have one of those) to hack the car (that won't look obvious either).


RE: Lol what?
By JediJeb on 2/10/2014 2:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't matter how low to the ground it is if you hand over your keys to a parking attendant or service person at the dealership, since they can then easily open the hood.


RE: Lol what?
By kingmotley on 2/7/2014 11:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
You mean like onstar?


RE: Lol what?
By amanojaku on 2/6/2014 12:33:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Also how many vehicles can you "simply slide under"? Most cars and even SUV's have only a few inches of ground clearance, not nearly enough to get underneath it unassisted.
This shouldn't be too much of a problem here in the US. Most American's stomachs can't even fit under Big Foot, let alone a normal-sized car! ;)


RE: Lol what?
By Motoman on 2/6/2014 1:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well, first of all lots of people don't lock their cars...intentionally or because they're absent minded. So easy enough to open an unlocked car door and pop the hood open.

There's also proven ways to hack remote car door openers too...has been for many, many years. There's no reason to assume that a group of people so sophisticated as to be able/willing to pull this off wouldn't be able to firstly find their way into the car.

If you did want to get under a car, all it takes is a bottle jack or two and an extra 60 seconds. BFD. Although I agree that for the vast majority of cars that's not going to help you get to any major wiring harnesses.

Lastly, on the issue of "bare wires" - if you can quickly find the correct wiring harness and slice open the casing, you just take the bare wires and some of those Scotch wire splicer thingies and *bam* - done. Probably the easiest way to do it.


RE: Lol what?
By Spuke on 2/6/2014 5:34:57 PM , Rating: 1
BAM! Good luck with all that on my car. Bottle jack? LOL! Wiring harness from the bottom? LOL! What car has the wiring harness running on the BOTTOM? Look, if you have THAT kind of knowledge of a particular car (where you know what part of the harness does what), you don't need this hack AT ALL. Just steal the car!


RE: Lol what?
By Motoman on 2/7/2014 8:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
Did you even read my post? I just...nevermind. I sense a disturbance in the force telling me there's not any point in telling you what you did wrong.


"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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