HACK­ERS TAR­GET OLD PROB­LEMS

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

IN a pre­sen­ta­tion il­lus­trat­ing that some mod­ern hacks rely on weak­nesses that should have al­ready been solved, hacker Samy Kamkar demon­strated an at­tack at Def Con 23 that re­lies on vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties with some cars’ and garages’ RF sys­tems.

Famed for his ear­lier ex­ploits with MyS­pace and Sky­Jack, he in­tro­duced a de­vice called Roll­jam that au­to­mates an at­tack that hack­ers have been aware of for years.

When a car owner clicks his or her key fob to un­lock the car, the Roll­jam jams the sig­nal from reach­ing the car, thus en­cour­ag­ing the owner to click the key fob again, send­ing another sig­nal. Af­ter jamming and sav­ing the sec­ond sig­nal, Roll­jam plays back the first sig­nal, un­lock­ing the car for the still un­wary owner. How­ever, the hacker re­tains the next sig­nal the car will be lis­ten­ing for, pro­vid­ing a way to un­lock the car re­motely from the key fob at a fu­ture date. Kamkar said that this is a prob­lem that was solved years ago, with no rea­son for car own­ers to still be wor­ried about it.

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