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Crime Security Transportation

The Future of Hi-Tech Auto Theft 272

NicknamesAreStupid writes "Over the past twenty years, car theft has declined as new models incorporated electronic security methods that thwarted simple hot-wiring. The tide may now be turning, as cars become the next Windows PC. The Center for Automobile Embedded Systems Security has posted an interesting paper from UCSD and UW that describes how modern cars can be cracked (PDF). Unlike the old days of window jimmies, these exploits range from attacks through the CD or iPod port to cellular attacks that take inventory of thousands of cars and offer roaming thieves Yelp-like choices ('our favorite is mint green with leather') with unlocked doors and running engines."
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The Future of Hi-Tech Auto Theft

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  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @03:47PM (#38677292)

    That's one, but around here it's increasingly common for cars to be stolen and then returned hours later after having completed a drug run in the stolen vehicle.

    Beyond that bait cars and lojacks as well as other countermeasures make it a lot more likely that car thieves will be caught before they can profit from their crime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2012 @03:58PM (#38677468)

    Here in Texas, car theft is up because there is one type of vehicle highly sought after: Larger pickups, SUVs, and 4x4s in general. These are promptly taken to the border to smash through the excuse of a fence and to ferry weapons to Mexico, and narcotics/illegals back to the US. A good diesel 4x4 is prized down there because it can easily outrun police vehicles over the terrain. They also are taken to Mexico to be up-armored.

    The trick I do with keeping the vehicle from being "borrowed" is the classic kill switch. However, I use two. One is for the fuel pump, the other one turns on and off the RFID antenna. This way, someone trying to clone a PATS key might get my key's serial number, but when they try to jam a clone in the vehicle, it will just give them the middle finger.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @04:25PM (#38677774) Homepage

    Really? I seem to find it different.

    Just helped a friend with his 2010 Vette 2 months ago, dingy thingy replacements are available at scosche for less than $25.00 so all your chimes are retained. Steering wheel controls are also easily adapted with a $79.00 box.

    speaker upgrades are worthless as the Vette with premium sound that has the amps on the backs of the speakers sound better than any of the aftermarket stuff, speaker placement in the vette is crap anyways, $300 each drivers will not sound any better in that car, but it's easy to do with adapter plates from..... Scosche, that place again.

    as for a "real amp" almost nobody puts in a 10,000 watt Rockford Phosgate anymore. replace the head unit with the new kenwood stanav one, hooked into the existing wiring for the speakers and simply removed the speakers and disconnected the "premium sound" amps.

    All done. Anyone that has done car stereos in the past 2 years knows this, you dont have to " replace the entire system" not by a long shot.

  • by clm1970 ( 1728766 ) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @04:47PM (#38678010)
    Yep. I had an older but still running Toyota pickup. I sold it to a couple of guys who were taking it to Guatemala. Make them come to the bank first so they could certify the bills were not fake as they insisted on paying in cash. DA's office said no known scam going around like that but it was a little freaky to say the least.
  • Re:Wrong demographic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phoenix321 ( 734987 ) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @05:38PM (#38678554)

    Remember Stuxnet.

    Covert assasination anyone?

    Implant a well-disguised piece of trojan code inside an ECU of opportunity.

    Have it triggered at a specific speed, at local nighttime. Disable brakes, lights, airbags and stomp on the accelerator. If any crash is detected, quickly recover the firmware to an original, untampered backup that was stored away somewhere beforehand.

    Crash investigators will find nothing but "reckless speeding" to be the cause.

  • by mijxyphoid ( 1872142 ) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @07:38PM (#38679654)


    It's on the bus to listen for vehicle speed so the active volume can go up and down. Advanced one spit out channel and RDS data for the HUD. there is zero possibility to send out a "lock up the breaks" command from the car stereo into the CANBUS unless you rewrite the stereo's firmware first. and that is not gonna happen, There are a LOT of guys looking to hack GM and Ford satnav systems to get past the damn CANBUS VIN lock. They have had ZERO success in the past 5 years.

    Ive been working on this for the past couple of months, and I have had success.
    (Search for VE Commodore HVAC Radio Hacking on google).

    Simply grap a SOP Clip, and an EEPROM programmer.
    The VIN number is stored as plain text on the Radio, Cluster, BCM, and a few other modules....

    The main reason why Manufacturers have been integrating the radio in to the vehicle, is because the radio is no longer just a radio, its an info/tainment center.
    HVAC controls, Sat-Nav, Park Assist, Reverse camera, radio, Bluetooth Audio connectivity, Video in Motion prevention, etc....

    On GM vehicles, there are two separate buses, the high speed GM LAN, which is used for critical stuff such as engine, transmission, brakes, stability management, etc....
    Then there is the low speed BUS which is used for stuff like HVAC, Radio, Instrument Cluster, Body Electronics, etc.

    What the article is trying to point out is that FORD for example, uses wifi to program its Ford SYNC (Windows CE) system at the factory.
    Whether a wifi module is plugged in on the line, and removed later is anyones guess. However, all the Low speed (Non critical stuff) is usually accessible via the low speed can bus, such as locking/unlocking doors, and remote starting of the car (via the Body Electronics Modules) etc.....

  • by CyberTech ( 141565 ) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @10:09PM (#38681300)

    Correct. They used a cordless tool to do it. There is video.. the only car that parked next to the truck all day only stopped for 90 seconds. That's all the time it took :)

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle