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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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RE: Somewhat agree with premise
By tayb on 2/6/2014 4:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
It's trivial to get inside a locked car without sounding the alarm. And that assumes the car is even locked in the first place. And then that assumes an alarm is even something to be concerned about.

I've sat and watched a locksmith "break" into a locked car in seconds without sounding the alarm. I think a talented thief trying to plant one of these devices would have no trouble at all getting inside a vehicle.

What is most shocking is how many people thinking locking their doors make them safe. Are you serious?

RE: Somewhat agree with premise
By JediJeb on 2/6/2014 5:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
I pretty much never lock mine. I figure I would rather have someone steal something out of it without having to replace the broken glass, since whatever I left inside would cost less to replace. Then again the vehicles themselves are so old no one would want to drive off with them. The most funny thing I think would be to see some young kid try to steal my old Jeep. Since it has a carburetor they probably would not think to pump the gas pedal before trying to start it, and never figure out why it wouldn't start and just walk away.

RE: Somewhat agree with premise
By Spuke on 2/6/2014 5:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
Age of a car has sh!t to do with whether or not a thief wants it. Car thefts/break ins have everything to do with "can I sell this".

RE: Somewhat agree with premise
By jRaskell on 2/7/2014 5:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, a non-trivial percentage of vehicle thefts are just for joy rides, no monetary motivation at all.

I personally know of two such cases, one car (which was found in a parking lot a day later with the rear tires shredded down to the chords), and one motorcycle, found a few days later being ridden by the thief at Motorcycle week in Laconia NH. The thief testified he just stole it for Motorcycle week, and was gonna dump it later. He had no prior record and allegedly no clue how to even go about selling a stolen vehicle.

RE: Somewhat agree with premise
By JediJeb on 2/10/2014 2:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
I gave $500 for my Jeep and I was being generous to my friend when I bought it. It would probably cost a thief more in gas to get it to somewhere to sell it than they would get for it lol. But I am sure they would want to pull out the 1980s Pioneer AM/FM/Cassette radio, I am sure they could get some money for that.

"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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