Hacker demonstrates how to remotely unlock a car in minutesBy Shawn Knight 10 comments
It's Black Hat security conference week in Las Vegas and as always, there's plenty of hacks to go around. The latest to come down the pipeline is a nifty technique that could be used by anyone to spoof the signal from a vehicle's wireless key fob.
Silvo Cesare, An Australian researcher from security firm Qualys, claims his key fob hack uses a code breaking attack that takes just a few minutes to perform. Best yet, it doesn't leave any physical trace which could make tracking down bad guys even tougher for law enforcement.
Up to this point, Cesare has only tested the hack on his own vehicle, a 10-year-old model that he refused to name (but can be seen in the clip above). He tells Wired that his method is straightforward enough that a variant of it would likely work on other cars too. That's because many automakers tend to use commercially available key fob technology that is probably used across many different makes and models.
Cesare built his proof-of-concept tool using off-the-shelf components that set him back roughly $1,000. But as the price of electronics continues to fall, it'll no doubt be cheaper - and perhaps more viable - for thieves to build their own unlocking devices in the near future.
He is working with the Australian chapter of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to try and alert manufacturers of the issue.