Monday, December 11, 2023

They steal cars using a Nokia 3310 and a speaker: surreal, but true

Although it seems like something worthy of an action movie, a video posted on YouTube shows the curious process of stealing a car with a Nokia 3310. The video has been posted with the intention of seeing the new modus operandi of thieves in the United States. Thus, using curious gadgets disguised as cell phones or bluetooth speakers, can be connected to the vehicle system and stolen without the need for a smart key. All in less than half a minute. The worst part is that this process seems to work no matter how new it is.

These devices are for sale online, and can cost thousands of dollars. Once in your possession, you will be able to start almost any model, even if you do not have knowledge in the area of ​​​​car theft, as is usual. In addition, to guarantee the safety of their bearers, they usually disguise them as other gadgets. In the example video it looks like a Nokia 3310, but it can vary to any other electronic product.

The process to steal a car with this gadget It is very simple. The device will take care of doing all the work for the thief. so it Explain Ken Tindell, CTO at vehicle cybersecurity company Canis Labs. “All they have to do is take two wires from the device, remove the headlight, and feed the wires into the appropriate holes…”

What can you do to protect your vehicle before this type of practice? According to Tindell, “there is nothing simple that consumers can do“However, there are options to prevent the theft of your car through the use of these electronic devices.

How this new technology for car theft works

Car theft with gadgets and electronics

Tindell’s research has managed to decipher part of the way in which these types of technologies work. The attack is called CAN (Controller Area Network) injection. Through a modified device, false messages are sent that appear to come from the vehicle’s smart key. Due to its programming, the computer does not check the received signals.

Although these gadgets They can reach very high prices. hovering between 2,500 euros and 18,000 euros, do not contain too expensive components. In fact, they usually have a value of approximately 10 euros, according to the report, and there is a chip with CAN hardware and another related to the latter.

As we already mentioned, Currently there is no protection for this type of practice for car theft. However, this does not mean that this problem cannot be avoided in the long term. In an email to motherboardKen Tindell explains that cryptographic protections can be introduced to CAN messages through software updates.

The software is simple, and the only complex part is introducing the cryptographic key management infrastructure. But as new vehicle platforms are already deploying cryptographic solutions, that infrastructure already exists or needs to be built anyway.

Ken Tindell, CTO at vehicle cybersecurity company Canis Labs

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