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Thread: Car virus rumors crash

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Post Car virus rumors crash

    Technicians at F-Secure announced on Monday they had quashed rumors that mobile phone viruses could spread to cars via Bluetooth, after failing to infect the onboard computer of a Toyota Prius with the mobile phone virus Cabir.

    You get enough "I've got a quick question about my home computer" questions as it is, having to out to the parking lot at lunch to virus scan someone's car might be enough to send you over the edge.

    \"You got a mouth like an outboard motor..all the time putt putt putt\" - Foghorn Leghorn

  2. #2

    Re: Car virus rumors crash

    Antivirus experts have concluded that mobile phone viruses are unable to infect cars.
    after failing to infect the onboard computer of a Toyota Prius with the mobile phone virus Cabir.
    Maybe I should write an article...

    "Doctors have concluded that Soda_Popinsky is immortal, after failing to make him laugh during a tickle fight"

    Can't really blame the author though... it's not like they are supposed to know how these sorts of things work, however it's hugely false to say mobile phones will not be able to infect cars. Maybe not now, but the day there is any sort of communication between your phone and your car is the day virus writers have a vector.

  3. #3
    T̙͓̞̣̯ͦͭͅͅȂͧͭͧ̏̈͏̖̖Z̿ ͆̎̄
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    The day may come when you get in your car to go to work and someone else will be driving it

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    The day may come when you get in your car to go to work and someone else will be driving it
    Sounds like the dreaded "RepoMan Virus" to me

    I have been vaguely following Bluetooth for some time now, and have often wondered about security. To begin with it seemed very much like technology to control embedded systems. And it appeared that some sort of "handshake" or authentication had to take place between the devices concerned.

    So, in my simplistic understanding, I would expect the TV, video, DVD and HiFi to talk to eachother, and possibly to a PC, as they already can do that via traditional wires. Similarly, your car might contain a control that will open the gates to the driveway, and the garage doors.

    I would NOT expect to go into the kitchen and catch the dishwasher talking dirty to the microwave.

    I can see where Soda~ is coming from, but I would suggest that we have already reached the point he envisages. That was, as I understand it, the purpose of the experiment.

    They took a Bluetooth mobile phone and tried to infect an in-car phone system, and they failed?

    That gives me no cause for comfort whatsoever, as I equate it to the old days when Win9x malware didn't infect Win NT 4.0 machines............that was the inadequacy of the virus, not the robustness of the operating system.

    What I see as the requirement is that serious functional systems that affect safety should NOT be wirelessly flashable, rather they should require physical access using specialised equipment.
    Furthermore, they should not be capable of communication with irrelevant devices.

    As for in car telephony..............it should be illegal. Forget about "hands free"...........it affects your concentration.

    My views

  5. #5
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    The technicians took the car 42 metres below sea level and used a Cabir-infected phone to try and infect it.
    uh???? what is so special about 42m below sea level? and its preference in infecting a car.. and why cabir?.. ok all it could have done was infect the in car Phone..ok.. and how "connected" is the car phone to the cars own engine, transmission, entertainment, climate, navigation management computers? the closer the connection between these systems become to a DATA connection the greater the chance for infection or undesired control.

    Here is how I see, useful feature being used to create an undesired action out of your car.

    Bluetooth to car phone.. "user needs to make urgent 911/ accident class call"
    carphone to car systems management reduce speed/come to rolling stop.. safty pull over ..
    systems management to electrics management, kill stereo, start warning flashers..
    Car phone to systems management: install new occupent.. 16yr old Heavy metal lover
    Systems management to entertainment management.. select full volume.. select nearest FM station playing ACDC..
    CAr phone to car security.. Hi JAck alert.. lock all doors.. sound horn.. child lock ALL doors..

    Now that is this Bastard Operator From Hells approach .. when the connectivity reaches that level..
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

  6. #6
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    So far, the systems controlled by car computers are burned into
    PROM chips supplied by the manufacturer. They don't have the ability
    to communicate any further than a socket under the dash, where techs
    plug a hand held device that can download data to assist them in finding
    causes of performance and/or emissions problems. To introduce any
    programming, legit or virus into the system, you have to replace the PROM.

    They are invulnerable to viruses because they are so primitive and lack
    the IO capabilities of even the earliest PCs.

    Wait a few years, though, when car makers are tempted to add lots of new
    capabilities to the system. Maybe some day they will be susceptible
    to viruses, but (thankfully) not yet.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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