2010 Report Demonstrates Cars Can Be Remotely Hacked

2010 Report Demonstrates Cars Can Be Remotely Hacked

Photo of vehicle Michael Hastings was killed in.

Photo of vehicle Michael Hastings was killed in.

Experimenters were able to remotely cause multiple systems failures in the lab and on the road in 2010. Brings up significant questions regarding Michael Hastings.


“…one recent estimate suggests that the typical luxury sedan now contains over 100 MB of binary code spread across 50–70 independent computers—Electronic Control Units (ECUs) in automotive vernacular—in turn communicating over one or more shared internal network buses.” This was in 2010 – Wlm Plgrm

Lights Out.
Our analysis in Section V uncovered packets that can disable certain interior and exterior lights on the car. We combined these packets to disable all of the car’s lights when the car is traveling at speeds of 40 MPH or more, which is particularly dangerous when driving in the dark. This includes the headlights, the brake lights, the auxiliary lights, the interior dome light, and the illumination of the instrument panel cluster and other display lights inside the car. This attack requires the lighting control system to be in the “automatic” setting, which is the default setting for most drivers. One can imagine this attack to be extremely dangerous in a situation where a victim is driving at high speeds at night in a dark environment; the driver would not be able to see the the road ahead, nor the speedometer, and people in other cars would not be able to see the victim car’s brake lights. We conducted this experiment on both cars while they were on jack stands and while driving on a closed course.”

Our fuzzing of the Electronic Brake Control Module (see Table IV) allowed us to discover how to lock
individual brakes and sets of brakes, notably without needing to unlock the EBCM with its DeviceControl key. In one case, we sent a random packet which not only engaged the front left brake, but locked it resistant to manual override even through a power cycle and battery removal. To remedy this, we had to resort to continued fuzzing to find a packet that would reverse this effect. Surprisingly, also without needing to unlock the EBCM, we were also able to release the brakes and prevent them from being enabled, even with car’s wheels spinning at 40 MPH while on jack stands.”


Above link is hosted at WordPress in case the original report gets taken down.