At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, Don Bailey and Matthew Solnik from iSec Partners demonstrated how to break into a car. They unlocked a Subaru Outback and started the engine from afar using an Android handset and the so-called ‘war texting’. They had developed a hack that was able to intercept the wireless messages that travel between software based systems like OnStar and cars, they were able to crack the protocol behind the systems and then duplicate it with a laptop.
You need to set your own GSM network around the car for that, and then intercept the password authentication text messages between the server and the car, all in the span of a few hours. Of course the two researchers didn’t actually steal the car, they were just showing off the technology, and it looks like it could be used for other purposes, which could include remote control systems for security cameras and traffic lights.
“I could care less if I could unlock a car door. It’s cool. It’s sexy. But the same system is used to control phone, power, traffic systems. I think that’s the real threat.”, said Don Bailey for CNN.