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post #1 of 11 Old 08-11-2010, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Uh oh ...

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Cars hacked through wireless tire sensors
By Peter Bright

The tire pressure monitors built into modern cars have been shown to be insecure by researchers from Rutgers University and the University of South Carolina. The wireless sensors, compulsory in new automobiles in the US since 2008, can be used to track vehicles or feed bad data to the electronic control units (ECU), causing them to malfunction.

Earlier in the year, researchers from the University of Washington and University of California San Diego showed that the ECUs could be hacked, giving attackers the ability to be both annoying, by enabling wipers or honking the horn, and dangerous, by disabling the brakes or jamming the accelerator.

The new research shows that other systems in the vehicle are similarly insecure. The tire pressure monitors are notable because they're wireless, allowing attacks to be made from adjacent vehicles. The researchers used equipment costing $1,500, including radio sensors and special software, to eavesdrop on, and interfere with, two different tire pressure monitoring systems.

The pressure sensors contain unique IDs, so merely eavesdropping enabled the researchers to identify and track vehicles remotely. Beyond this, they could alter and forge the readings to cause warning lights on the dashboard to turn on, or even crash the ECU completely.

Unlike the work earlier this year, these attacks are more of a nuisance than any real danger; the tire sensors only send a message every 60-90 seconds, giving attackers little opportunity to compromise systems or cause any real damage. Nonetheless, both pieces of research demonstrate that these in-car computers have been designed with ineffective security measures.

The Rutgers and South Carolina research will be presented at the USENIX Security conference later this week.

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-11-2010, 03:47 PM
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wow, that is what they spend their students tuition money on

people with too much time and nothing better to do

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-11-2010, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedJewel2SS View Post
wow, that is what they spend their students tuition money on

people with too much time and nothing better to do

Therein lies the problem ... too much time to eff around with stuff like that.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-13-2010, 07:40 AM
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Pretty soon the "getaway car" will be a thing of the past.








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post #5 of 11 Old 08-13-2010, 07:49 AM
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lol maybe we'll see a new tune that can disable the tire pressure readings from the ecu all together and zing! she's a getaway car once again

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-13-2010, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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[conspiracy theory mode on]

The hacking is one thing... but the fact that each pressure sensor has a frickin' unique ID which it's sending out via RF to all passerby is just about as bad.

It means, for example, that the police could just setup a box on the side of a particular road and get a nice timestamped list of everyone traveling past the box.



[conspiracy theory mode off]
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-13-2010, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJohn View Post
[conspiracy theory mode on]

The hacking is one thing... but the fact that each pressure sensor has a frickin' unique ID which it's sending out via RF to all passerby is just about as bad.

It means, for example, that the police could just setup a box on the side of a particular road and get a nice timestamped list of everyone traveling past the box.



[conspiracy theory mode off]
I never thought about it before, but that makes sense. It should be possible to turn it off, however if it's like bluetooth, depending on the power, the range can be made extremely short. In that case you could'nt be hacked or tracked by anyone who's more than 10 feet away.

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-13-2010, 12:54 PM
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Yes, yes, we must wrap our Camaros in tin foil to stop the signals!

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post #9 of 11 Old 08-13-2010, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-13-2010, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cigam21 View Post
Yes, yes, we must wrap our Camaros in tin foil to stop the signals!
Well, OBDIII is on the way which will be similar to this...your car will have a unique ID and probably 802.11 since bluetooth is limited distance. If the state requires an emissions inspection to obtain a license, the check engine light must come on with the key on, engine off, it must go out when the engine is started, there must not be any codes stored in the PCM memory (I've seen a lot of vehicles that have a working check engine light, that goes off when the engine is started but there are codes stored because the manufacturer thought it wasn't necessary to alarm the driver when the knock sensor went south or the transmission is slipping) and the readiness monitors must be set.

For 2001 and newer cars, only 1 readiness monitor can be not ready, but from 1996 to 2000 vehicles, you can have two readiness monitors not set. The way it is now, you have to bring your vehicle to a testing station and they have to plug into the OBDII connector and retrieve all this information. With OBDIII, you just drive your car, and there will be boxes on the side of the road gathering information about this stuff as you drive by. If your check engine light is on, big brother will know and you will get a notice in the mail that you have to get this repaired otherwise you won't get your plates. I don't know how they will tell if the check engine light actually illuminates without seeing it.

FWIW

[conspiracy theory mode disabled]

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