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Subys vulnerable to electronic key hacking

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Old March 25th 16, 02:53 AM posted to alt.autos.alfa-romeo
Bob Wilson[_2_]
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Posts: 2
Default Subys vulnerable to electronic key hacking

An item in the latest "Comp.Risks" forum on computer security includes a
Suby model in the victims: Is it bad that there is a Suby there, or good
that only one is...? I have to admit I didn't even know there was
a Subaru Levorg.

Andy Greenberg, *WiReD*, 21 Mar 2016

For years, car owners with keyless entry systems have reported thieves
approaching their vehicles with mysterious devices and effortlessly
opening them in seconds. After having his Prius burgled repeatedly
outside his Los Angeles home, the New York Times' former tech columnist
Nick Bilton came to the conclusion that the thieves must be amplifying
the signal from the key fob in the house to trick his car's keyless
entry system into thinking the key was in the thieves' hand. He
eventually resorted to keeping his keys in the freezer.

Now a group of German vehicle security researchers has released new
findings about the extent of that wireless key hack, and their work
ought to convince hundreds of thousands of drivers to keep their car
keys next to their Pudding Pops. The Munich-based automobile club ADAC
late last week made public a study it had performed on dozens of cars to
test a radio *amplification attack* that silently extends the range of
unwitting drivers' wireless key fobs to open cars and even start their
ignitions, as first reported by the German business magazine
WirtschaftsWoche. The ADAC researchers say that 24 different vehicles
from 19 different manufacturers were all vulnerable, allowing them to
not only reliably unlock the target vehicles but also immediately drive
them away.

``This clear vulnerability in [wireless] keys facilitates the work of
thieves immensely,'' reads a post in German about the researchers'
findings on the ADAC website. ``The radio connection between keys and
car can easily be extended over several hundred meters, regardless of
whether the original key is, for example, at home or in the pocket of
the owner.''

That car key hack is far from new: Swiss researchers published a paper
detailing a similar amplification attack as early as 2011. But the ADAC
researchers say they can perform the attack far more cheaply than those
predecessors, spending just $225 on their attack device compared with
the multi-thousand-dollar software-defined radios used in the Swiss
researchers' study. They've also tested a larger array of vehicles and,
unlike the earlier study, released the specific makes and models of
which vehicles were susceptible to the attack; they believe that
hundreds of thousands of vehicles in driveways and parking lots today
remain open to the wireless theft method.

The Vulnerable Makes and Models

Here's the full list of vulnerable vehicles from their findings, which
focused on European models: the Audi A3, A4 and A6, BMW 730d, Citroen
DS4 CrossBack, Ford Galaxy and Eco-Sport, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe
CRDi, KIA Optima, Lexus RX 450h, Mazda CX-5, MINI Clubman, Mitsubishi
Outlander, Nissan Qashqai and Leaf, Opel Ampera, Range Rover Evoque,
Renault Traffic, Ssangyong Tivoli XDi, Subaru Levorg, Toyota RAV4, and
Volkswagen Golf GTD and Touran 5T. Only the BMW i3 resisted the
researchers' attack, though they were still able to start its ignition.
And the researchers posit -- but admit they didn't prove -- that the
same technique likely would work on other vehicles, including those more
common in the United States, with some simple changes to the frequency
of the equipment's radio communications.

The ADAC released a video that shows surveillance camera footage of a
real-world theft that seemed to use the technique, as well as a
demonstration by the group's own researchers. [...]

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