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The Eagle

How To Hack A Car And Remotely Control It

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Information security researcher Mathew Solnik gave us a first-hand demonstration on how to wirelessly send commands to the car and remotely tell it what to do. With a little over a grand and about a month of work, Solnik found time outside of his full-time job to reverse-engineer a car's computer system to make it ready for a takeover.

From his laptop, he was able to manipulate the car's engine, brakes and security systems by wirelessly tapping into the Controller Area Network, or CAN bus, network.

Scary... :ph34r:

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That will not happen, with my car! :blink:

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There is a simple rule of hardware - once you release hardware, you can be certain it will be cracked at some stage in the future. You will inevitably make mistakes in the design, and the talent of everyone outside your company is trying to find a way in. The best example is DVD - millions of players sold, the crypto was broken wide open, the makers can do nothing because that would invalidate every player out there. They had another go with BluRay - with all the experience of DVD they threw everything into an "unbreakable" platform - which was duly broken inside 6 months.

As soon as cars start "networking" and become "intelligent", they will be hacked. Guaranteed. At the moment the electronics is pretty closed: you need to physically access the kit as it mostly is not interacting with the outside world. This will change with the EUs desire for telematics.

Within the next 15 years we will wake up to a headline reading "do not drive your car, it can be hacked into at will by some 15 year old sitting on a motorway bridge".

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The question though is why exactly anyone would want to do this.

Plus, even if a driverless car were to be illicitly remote-controlled in this way, would it not still drive very safely as per programming? Would a hacker really be able to override all that to make it drive crazily and kill his enemy within?

Finally, does being able to hack it depend on being within a certain distance of it? In which case, vehicles speeding past that teen on the bridge should be pretty safe.

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The question though is why exactly anyone would want to do this.

Plus, even if a driverless car were to be illicitly remote-controlled in this way, would it not still drive very safely as per programming? Would a hacker really be able to override all that to make it drive crazily and kill his enemy within?

Finally, does being able to hack it depend on being within a certain distance of it? In which case, vehicles speeding past that teen on the bridge should be pretty safe.

shits and giggles. I remember my circle of friends doing terrible things in their youth because it was 'funny'. with hindsight, if gun laws had been looser in the UK, some might not have made it.... :blink:

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Scary... :ph34r:

Pahh, he plugged a wire into the car (from the inside) which was connected to a mobile phone/relay, the laptop is connected via another mobile phone so the car and the laptop can connect to each other. You can't do this without having the keys to the car at some point and having a serious amount time/need to do it, you can't just hack any car randomly (which was even stated on screen very quickly)

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Actually the easiest way is to get an alien "psychic amplifier" and hack the driver's brain! :wacko:

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If he's putting something into the OBD socket to talk to it wirelessly I really don't get the big whoop. There's either dealer level software available officially or dodgy Chinese stuff if not.

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Pahh, he plugged a wire into the car (from the inside) which was connected to a mobile phone/relay, the laptop is connected via another mobile phone so the car and the laptop can connect to each other. You can't do this without having the keys to the car at some point and having a serious amount time/need to do it, you can't just hack any car randomly (which was even stated on screen very quickly)

He only had to do that because this is a rather old car (looks like a 10 year old Civic to me). With more recent cars you don't need to plug in anything, many have bluetooth and/or GSM/CDMA receivers built in so there is no need to do any hardware mods to hack the into the car remotely.

This is mentioned in the video too.

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Unless I'm mistaken, Clutch/gears and steering movement are still mechanical, so what's the worst he could do, wide open throttle?

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Princess Dianah!!!

Anyway, pretty sure my car is off-grid!

If they changed my radio and seat settings I would be very cross.

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he question though is why exactly anyone would want to do this.

Plus, even if a driverless car were to be illicitly remote-controlled in this way, would it not still drive very safely as per programming? Would a hacker really be able to override all that to make it drive crazily and kill his enemy within?

Finally, does being able to hack it depend on being within a certain distance of it? In which case, vehicles speeding past that teen on the bridge should be pretty safe.

To start with, how about the simple premise of nicking the car? Remote unlock, remote engine start, drive away. No need to smash windows or damage anything.

Moving on from that simple premise, there is no limit to the chaos you could cause. All engine functions are "fly by wire" - so you can get the engine to do literally anything. Full power, no power, anything in between. Pretty much every auto box out there is electromechanical under complete control of the ECU. No clutch. So we'll have full power please, and we'll run through the gears until we are hitting the speed limiter which we will disable. You want brakes? Oh dear, better ask the ABS computer, and we own that as well. The interesting one is steering. It used to be good old fashioned mechanical with hydraulic assistance. The assistance is now electrical - under control of the ECU. So, how strong are you if the PAS really, really wants to turn left?

The intent behind this could be simply to cause chaos - as in 'I'm really going to mess up the morning rush hour". It could be more subtle - as in, altering the mixture settings on thousands of cars to burn up the catalysts.

If cars are truly connected to the internet in the future, then distance is immaterial. At the moment they are generally not - but the EU certainly wants them to be.

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If they changed my radio and seat settings I would be very cross.

Yes! It's like having an annoying short wife, with no taste in music! :blink:

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