Thursday, August 13, 2015

WIRED Article on Hacking A Corvette via OBD-II Dongle and Smartphone

Two of my passions come together (and not in a good way) Corvettes and computer security.

There is an interesting article at WIRED by Security researchers Karl Koscher and Ian Foster titled:

Hackers Cut a Corvette’s Brakes Via a Common Car Gadget

They put a dongle on the On Board Diagnostics (OBD-II) connector and use a smartphone to turn a variety of functions on and off - engaging the brakes being the scariest.

The authors write:

"At the Usenix security conference today, a group of researchers from the University of California at San Diego plan to reveal a technique they could have used to wirelessly hack into any of thousands of vehicles through a tiny commercial device: A 2-inch-square gadget that’s designed to be plugged into cars’ and trucks’ dashboards and used by insurance firms and trucking fleets to monitor vehicles’ location, speed and efficiency. By sending carefully crafted SMS messages to one of those cheap dongles connected to the dashboard of a Corvette, the researchers were able to transmit commands to the car’s CAN bus—the internal network that controls its physical driving components—turning on the Corvette’s windshield wipers and even enabling or disabling its brakes."

The article goes on to say that the dongle was patched, but this is certainly an area of security to pay very close attention to. The Blue Screen of Death was a figurative term when your PC locked up.  There now is the fear of the Remote Car Hack of Death.  Being able to lock up someone's brakes remotely when a semi is on their rear is an horror scenario.  I have seen dongles that go into your OBD-II connector that monitor if any of your internal automotive systems have been hacked - virus protector for you car.

Below is the video on this:

Memex Introduces New Logos

Memex Automation is now simply Memex. Here are the new logos. I really like how these look and our tag line is tied back to the name of our company.