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Not your network, not your car
If they can shut off your car remotely, then do you own it?
A story made its way cross the net last week that reinvigorated a point I made sometime ago. If you know me personally, then you know my background as Cypherpunk and my multiple decades of devotion to electronic privacy. You also know about how much disgust I have for Silicon Valley these days.
If you possess a vehicle, or a phone for that matter, that has the ability to be shutoff remotely, without your permission, then you don’t really own it at all.
I am going to stay out of the politics of what is going on in Russia, there are too many self appointed experts pontificating on this at the moment. But I do have concern with a corporation invocation of cancel culture to punish people who have nothing to do with whatever politics you are against at the moment.
That said, if, for example Apple can decide to shutdown your iPhone because your politics are not in favor at the moment, then you don’t own it. Same applies to your car, your home heating system and probably most other things that you depend on day-to-day. Something to consider in the rush to purchase a remote-pollution-vehicle.
But the capability still exists. And it’s not just tracking. The OnStar device is connected to the the vehicle's CANBus network and can easily issue commands to unlock and disable the vehicle. If you are so inclined this vulnerability is easily removed in just a few minutes. I suggest you do more than remove the antenna connection, pull the entire modem out. For example on the 201X Silverado’s it took me about 10 minutes. There are lots of videos on YouTube.
I’ll talk more about hacking the car network in my next few articles. My head is buried in that space at the moment. In the meantime if you want to learn a few things about what the potentials are you might take a look at the The Car Hacker’s Handbook.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”