[TriEmbed] Hack to unlock your car

Mark Turner markt at markturner.net
Tue Aug 11 12:57:50 CDT 2015

Hi! I just joined this group after borrowing one of the NCSU Library's
Arduino kits and having a blast with it. I'm a sysadmin by trade but
know a little about circuits, having built little gadgets all my life
and holding a Tech Plus ham license. Embedded systems really fire my
imagination and I can see myself getting deeply involved with this
stuff. Looking forward to meeting everyone!

Regarding the car/garage door hacks...

Two years on, I think I now know how thieves have been entering vehicles
using a "mystery device":

So, what are car manufacturers going to do about it? I would be
surprised if the chip in the car that actually does the unlocking could
be software-upgraded (not to mention the key transmitters) and I don't
see the dealers giving away any upgrades unless they're forced to, a la
recall. I bet car manufacturers simply keep quiet and hope no one
notices. At least I don't expect current models "in the field" to be
upgraded with any urgency, which is unfortunate.

After reading this I began wondering how I could tie the OTP app I use
for my online authentication into my car and/or garage door. There's no
rule that you HAVE to use your car's keyfob (or your garage door
transmitter) for access, after all. Each works essentially through a
button switch, right? It would be super easy to replace these vulnerable
systems with a WiFi, 3G, or Bluetooth-enabled device and protect your
stuff with as much security as you can imagine (and implement). The
ignition part, well ... that might be a bigger challenge (or heck, maybe
not. I wonder how truly secure these proximity keys are).

One recent hacking paper I read discussed the transmitters in the tires
of new cars which transmit pressure info (called TPMS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire-pressure_monitoring_system). One
could use those transmitters to trigger the garage door whenever they
were in range of the house, for instance.


On 08/11/2015 07:32 AM, Carl Nobile via TriEmbed wrote:
> Yeah, I saw a similar article about the same device in a Wired
> Magazine article last week. There'll be a fast scramble by car
> companies to fix their cars. I bet MFGs of home security systems will
> do nothing very fast.

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