1. Blade_27's Avatar
    Hackers Steal Vehicle Using Smartphone

    As cars increasingly become rolling computers, it makes them potential targets for hackers.

    To make the point, two researchers at the Black Hat annual conference of hackers and security pros last week in Las Vegas showed they could unlock and start the engine of a Subaru Outback via text messages using their Android smartphone, reports CNN Tech and Engadget.

    The security pros set up their own GSM network and used what they call "war texting" to exploit the vehicle's remote control system and intercept password authentication messages over the cell network between the server and the car. They said their technique could be used to hack other automakers' remote start systems -- and, worse, similarly based systems that control everything from traffic lights and security cameras to power grids.

    "I could care less if I could unlock a car door. It's cool. It's sexy," Don Bailey, a senior security consultant with iSEC Partners and one of the pros who hacked the car, told CNN. "But the same system is used to control phone, power, traffic systems. I think that's the real threat."

    While these researchers were able to start an Outback, they may or may not have been able to actually drive it away. Systems such as the $360 optional remote start for automatic-transmission Outbacks are intended to require the key to put it in gear. But that's an electronic control, too.

    Michael McHale, Subaru's director of corporate communications, wouldn't comment on whether this type of breach is possible, having not observed the claimed hack, but he told Cars.com an attack such as this could affect other brands.

    "I don't think it's a Subaru situation," McHale said. "I think the same technology would work on most cars on the market." The researchers said they won't provide specifics about how they accomplished their breach until manufacturers have a chance to upgrade their systems.

    08-20-11 01:30 AM
  2. jonathon.94's Avatar
    That's scary. Smartphones (blackberry) are un hackable but a $25,000+ car can be. Not to mention many of the systems that regulate our lives.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-20-11 12:38 PM
  3. JR A's Avatar
    This has been around for a while... I remember reading how a few people with old HTC Pocket PC phones unlock car doors of an Infiniti...

    And by the way, wouldn't this technically be considered "cracking" and not "hacking"?
    08-20-11 07:58 PM
  4. jonathon.94's Avatar
    Well it has not became the norm for car thieves yet so maybe it should not be a big worry. Not to mention most decent hackers probably carry around a netbook as much as we carry our blackberrys.
    08-20-11 10:50 PM