A $30 Dongle Can Unlock Your Car And Garage Remotely

Hacker Samy Kamkar has created a clever system for capturing and playing back the radio signals that can open your garage door and car. It costs $30 and could spell the end of the laughably insecure systems now in place that protect our rakes and Land Rovers.

The project, called the Rolljam, blocks the signal coming from a remote key fob and then prepares itself to record the signal when the user presses the button a second time. Why? Because manufacturers have created something called “rolling codes” that are transmitted each time a remote is pressed.

If the codes aren’t sent in the right order the device won’t unlock, but by blocking a signal and grabbing the next one there is always a fresh code. Car manufacturers have implemented some systems to prevent this sort of thing, but many cars on the market are vulnerable.



From the talk description:

In this talk I’ll reveal new research and real attacks in the area of wirelessly controlled gates, garages, and cars. Many cars are now controlled from mobile devices over GSM, while even more can be unlocked and ignitions started from wireless keyfobs over RF. All of these are subject to attack with low-cost tools (such as RTL-SDR, GNU Radio, HackRF, Arduino, and even a Mattel toy).

Does this mean you should go out and buy a new car? Probably not. Now that the technology is readily accessible, I suspect manufacturers will try their damnedest to get workarounds and improvements onto the market in order to prevent the inevitable class-action lawsuits that will result.

However, don’t expect your old garage door opener to support a software upgrade. In other words, you’d better lock up your bike and snowblower.

via Engadget