Feeds

'War texting' hacks car systems and possibly much more

Remotely start cars, attack SCADA, through GSM

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Software that allows drivers to remotely unlock and start automobiles using cell phones is vulnerable to hacks that allow attackers to do the same thing, sometimes from thousands of miles away, it was widely reported Wednesday.

The exploit affecting an undisclosed product used to remotely control cars was developed by iSec researchers Don Bailey and Matthew Solnik by reverse engineering the GSM, or Global System for Mobile Communications, technology it relies on.

By setting up their own, private GSM network and then closely monitoring it, they were able to figure out the codes needed to send rogue commands to cars that relied on the system. They used a laptop to recreate the messages, a technique they dubbed "war texting."

While the hack raises obvious concerns for users of OnStar RemoteLink and other systems for remotely controlling automobiles, it could pose even more of a threat to operators of SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition, systems used to control valves, gears, and other physical processes in industrial plants and factories, Bailey said.

Many industrial control systems also rely on GSM networks to send and receive commands. With the declining cost of operating ad-hoc GSM networks, it could become increasingly easy to penetrate these systems and defeat the security-through-obscurity protections they rely on.

The researchers are scheduled to present their findings during a talk titled War Texting: Identifying and Interacting with Devices on the Telephone Network at next week's Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

Original reporting from CNET, IDG News, and Dark Reading is here, here, and here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.