Hackers hit the brakes on a Corvette via OBD-II Hack!
For the most time, we think of Hackers somewhere in a dark basement surrounded with monitors computer towers with wires dangling from USB ports, breaking into banks stealing your Wi-Fi or doing some other mischief.
This time they have once again struck the motor industry. We say again since in the not so distant past, we saw a Jeep being accessed thru his infotainment system, with control taken over the most of the cars systems. Then there was the Tesla Model S when a pair of White Hackers found that you can hack a Tesla, but only after you can physically access it in order to install the malicious software.
Now it appears that almost all vehicle that have an OBD-II type connection can be accessed and messed with in some way. A research team from the University of California San Diego discovered that if the car is equipped with a common plug in dongle, you can access it.
On the demonstration in the video, they start by turning the wipers on and off, which might be considered benign, but as they progress into the presentation, they show that you can also activate and disable the brakes, which on the other hand is quite opposite of benign.
They explain that although the brakes can be hacked only at slow speeds, many other systems remain vulnerable. In the video they use a Corvette but this has nothing to do with the Corvette’s higher vulnerability than other vehicles. The danger comes from the wireless dongle that plugs into the OBD-II connector. This device is mainly used by fleet vehicles, like Taxi services, Limousine services, delivery services, and the main purpose is to track the vehicle and its performance and relay mileage and GPS location data back to the office. The device works by accessing the CAN bus which is the collective point off all the vehicles data, from every system. A modern vehicle can have over hundred different systems and all of the data goes thru the CAN bus in order for them to communicate with each other. So once you have accessed the CAN bus you can listen in on the conversation and apparently control them.