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'Thiefproof' car key cracked #100026
1st Feb 2005 2:20pm
1st Feb 2005 2:20pm
Joined: Dec 2003
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Tony MK2 Offline OP
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Tony MK2  Offline OP
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Researchers have discovered cryptographic vulnerabilities in the RFID technology used in high-security car keys and petrol pump payment systems. The attack against Texas Instruments DST tags used in vehicle immobilisers and ExxonMobil's SpeedPass system was identified by experts at Johns Hopkins University and RSA Laboratories.

The algorithm used in TI's DST tags is an unpublished, proprietary cipher that uses a 40-bit key. Using a black-box reverse-engineering method, the team was able to unravel the algorithm used in the DST tags. This information allowed them to programme a commercial microchip costing less than $200 to find the secret key of a gasoline purchase tag owned by one of the researchers. Using 16 of these FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) devices in parallel allowed researchers to reduce search time from 10 hours to around 15 minutes.

The vulnerable technology is used in more than six million key chain tags used for wireless gasoline purchases and in an estimated 150 million keys for newer vehicles built by at least three leading manufacturers. The researchers warn that tech-savvy criminals could wirelessly probe a car key tag or payment tag in close proximity, and process this data using the code breaking techniques to crack secret keys and circumvent cryptographic security safeguards. This might allow crooks to charge their own gasoline purchases to the tag owner's account or to get around electronic vehicle immobilisation techniques. Crooks would still need to defeat physical locks to steal cars.

"We've found that the security measures built into these devices are inadequate," said Avi Rubin, technical director of the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute and an author of the study. "Millions of tags that are currently in use by consumers have an encryption function that can be cracked without requiring direct contact. An attacker who cracks the secret key in an RFID tag can then bypass security measures and fool tag readers in cars or at gas stations."

The researchers have alerted Texas Instruments about the initial findings of their research, which continues. The team recommends a program of distributing free metallic sheaths to cover its RFID devices when they are not being used in order to make attacks more difficult.

The company that markets ExxonMobil's SpeedPass system has said it has no knowledge that any fraudulent purchases have ever been made with a cloned version of its device.


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Re: 'Thiefproof' car key cracked #100027
1st Feb 2005 3:25pm
1st Feb 2005 3:25pm
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Tony MK2 Offline OP
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Tony MK2  Offline OP
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Nothing is safe these days and to think back in the days long long time ago you could leave everythink and anythink unlocked and now! everythink has to be locked and alarmed what is the world coming to frown


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Re: 'Thiefproof' car key cracked #100028
2nd Feb 2005 10:44pm
2nd Feb 2005 10:44pm
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lazy_ben Offline
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lazy_ben  Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Tony MK2:
everythink and anythink and everythink
Its 'everything' and 'anything' Tony.
But I agree, thieves are ....


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Re: 'Thiefproof' car key cracked #100029
3rd Feb 2005 7:33pm
3rd Feb 2005 7:33pm
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 331
greasby wirral
dave the rave Offline
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dave the rave  Offline
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greasby wirral
Quote
Originally posted by Tony MK2:
Nothing is safe these days and to think back in the days long long time ago you could leave everythink and anythink unlocked and now! everythink has to be locked and alarmed what is the world coming to frown
u see tony me old pal sum of us r not that old to think that long back <img border="0" alt="[Roll around the floor laffin]" title="" src="graemlins/cwemotions065.gif" />


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