Forget your car keys? Soon it won’t make a difference, as long as you have your laptop.
An interesting viral Web video (see below) making the rounds since the Black Hat cybersecurity conference earlier this month depicts two researchers from iSEC Partners(a San Francisco-based security firm) breaking into a 1998 Subaru Outback via their PC. In less than 60 seconds, they wirelessly find the car’s security system module, bypass it and start the engine remotely.
iSEC researchers Don Bailey and Mat Solnik claim to be able to hack their way into a securely locked car because its alarm relies on a cell phone or satellite network that can receive commands via text messaging. Devices connecting via a cellular or satellite network are assigned the equivalent of a phone number or Web address. If hackers can figure out the number or address for a particular car, they could use a PC to send commands via text messages that instruct the car to disarm, unlock and start.
One of the reasons this text-messaging approach is disconcerting is that text messages aren’t so easy to block, unless you don’t want to receive any texts (either to your car or phone). Google Voice, iBlacklist and a few others (including wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon) do offer some tools for filtering unwanted text messages.
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