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    Posted August 6, 2015 by
    ENGHELBERG
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    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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    Vehicle Computer Hacking, The New Danger Zone.

     

    Automotive Cyber Hacking ®
    Vehicle Computer Hacking, The New Danger Zone.
    A NEW CHALLENGE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
    ECM/EFI/ECU/PLC Control Modules on vehicles.

     

    KEY WORDS: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, AUTOMOTIVE CYBER HACKING, LITIGATIONS, SAFETY EQUIPMENT, VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY, AUTOMOTIVE CONTROL MODULES, PLC.

     

    Just month ago, on January 2015, BMW announced that a flow in the operational system of more than 2,000,000 vehicles may be compromised and may be hacked by the simple introduction of an external SD Memory chip.
    If a military system can be hacked and taken over, or a Satellite controlled drone, or an artillery battery with smart GPS ammunition, believe me, a smart car can be taken over even faster. As soon as car manufacturers put a computer, control units in a car, controlling the ECU is easy.
    Many models now have a constant satellite, line On-Star (satellite and 4G LTE) from GM or Mobile Assist/InCar/MBrace Wi-Fi Hotspot from Mercedes-Benz: mobile networks data high speed access. This internet access will be universal in vehicles in less than a few years. Almost all electrical cars have a dedicated internet access. Plans are from a large data, Wi-Fi access, for streaming music & video, read e-mails, SMS, access to Social Media, geo fencing, GPS functions (3D mapping). The same internet access can be used to access the internal ECU and determine the engine parameters, speed, and location, how we drive and monitor us, with an activated camera and microphone.
    The car ECU can be accessed not only via internet, but via our smart phone and a BT connection. Many apps can make this connection and cross this bridge. Even if we make a phone call (a phone call or just an idle phone) via the onboard BT (Bluetooth) system, a cyber-bandit can access the phone, via the tandem computer of the service provider, connect via BT (BlueTooth) to the ECU and activate an air bag, for example. Every move we make can be traced with GPS precision. THERE IS NO LIMIT ON POSITIVE THINGS WE CAN DO WITH INTERNET ACCESS ON BOARD OF A VEHICLE AND AT THE SAME TIME, WHAT A CYBER BANDIT CAN DO, HACKING INTO VEHICLE’S SOFTWARE, CONTROL MODULES PLC AND RELATED INFORMATION COMMAND AND CONTROL DATA.
    Accessing the data on the ECU (electronic control unit) has changed a lot from the early days, and now you can flash your ECU and record data to be sent to your tuner (or a smart phone, laptop, USB device) via e-mail. We are not talking about the hardware, cables, connectors and small diagnosis equipment, which can be purchased as a kit for less U.S. $1,000. You can buy a diagnosis ODBII code translator to interface with your vehicle control modules for less than $50.00. This will connect via Bluetooth with your smart phone. All you need are the proper cables, connectors and software, a Wi-Fi/LAN laptop and an Internet connection. You can also shift through the data stored in the vehicle central control unit to see what your engine and other systems are doing under various driving conditions and tweak it yourself. Now, you can access, upload, made modifications, download an ECU unit, not only via wired diagnostic equipment, but via Wi-Fi.

     

    Anybody with a mediums dexterity and knowledge can get control of any modern vehicle. There are more than 20 control modules and control units in each vehicle, not taking into consideration so many sender units (sensors): engine control, battery, seats, electrical systems, fuels, navigation, steering, start/off, windows, cameras, transmission conductor plate, transmission valve body, cooling, brakes systems, front SAM (signal acquisition module) unit and rear SAM unit, etc. This entire system of control units and sensors, some wired some on fiber optics, can be access and coerced to do something the hacker wants to do. If a hacker wants, he can create a very nasty accident for the occupants (and other vehicles on the road or pedestrians): if the vehicle fails under his remote control. This is an issue open for debate, but at the same time, a present and clear danger.

     

    ECM | Engine control module (powertrain module and/or engine control computer) is the central brains of the vehicle it controls and analyzes information provided by so many sensors, in order to automatically manage and control the engine performance. ECM is a very critical part of the vehicle control system. ECM controls air/fuel ratio, ignition, timing, idle speed, valve timing. Each ECM is pre-programed at the factory with best performance engine settings or on custom-made-program, to improve engine to high-performance. Large manufacturers of ECM units are Bosch, AC Delco, Siemens, Holley, VDO, Behr, Valeo, A1 Cardone, Cammus, AEM, Veloce, Temic, Link G4, etc. Like a PC computer, each engine and its ECM have a PROM memory: programmable read only memory. Every ECM’s malfunction, by fortune or MANIPULATION by a cyber-auto-hacker® will affect greatly the performance of the vehicle and its handling.

     

    My predictions and fears of automotive control modules software to be vulnerable and poised to be hacked were proved (proven) correct. In the month of July 2015, when the software a Jeep Cherokee system was overcome, engine tuned off and the vehicle ended in a ditch. This cybersecurity risk prompted Fiat-Chrysler to recall no less than 1.4 million vehicles for a quick fix, a patch, on the system. Other automakers, like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, VW, Tesla, GM, Ford, were revising their operation systems: on each of the control modules and PLC (programmable logic controller) of the vehicle control, functioning and diagnostic system.
    The modern vehicle of today are now in a position to rely heavily on sophisticated, elegant and slick software to manage so complicated gas/Diesel/electric engines and motors, turbo charges, fuel mixtures, voltage generation, ABS brakes systems, ESC (electronic stability control), fuel consumption, sound, lights, temperature, etc., inside entertainment, all visa-vis of embedded internet access and social media or On-Star technology.
    The same problem as with small vehicles is translated to van and trucks. Everybody is rushing to find vulnerability in each control system.
    Hacking & manipulation one’s car steering, acceleration, air bags control module deployment, safety belts or braking system is the most important face of this trend: Automotive Cyber Hacking ®. The manufacturers, the researcher and the designers and we, the drivers, we have to pay attention. In USA, NHTSA is watching this trend with alarming attention.
    "It's not just about the hack. It's what the response from the industry has been to see whether or not their issues have been acknowledged and what they're planning. And that's the part we have to see going forward," Rosekind said. He said NHTSA is also collecting information about potential issues involving GM's OnStar, but has not begun a formal investigation| Automotive News.

     

    DRIVERLESS VEHICLES & PODS | The other scary history in case of a major hacking are the driverless cars, an area authored & fielded by Google Research. First of all, there so called “pods” are populating and circulating together with other drivers.
    1. They, the pods, are connected to internet and GSP, for if failure or hacking to one of the system will create an accident. 2. These pods, in the hands of a hacker can be transformed into a precision guided delivery missile. 3. The laws have to be modified, to accommodate safety measures for these driverless vehicles and pods. Automation software governing these devices, the pods, should be very robust and double tested before being fielded.
    Testing, extensive testing of the driverless vehicles and pods was and are right now conducted. But there is this axiom: “everything generated by one group of human can be reengineer by another group of humans”. Is not that someone is bringing to planet EARTH A TECHNOLOGY INVENTED IN A FAR AWAY GALAXY….NO, NO, NO!

     

       We have many autonomous vehicles around us, and one good example is the satellite controlled UAV-drones, the space vehicles and autonomous robots. Sure, there is high-speed Wi-Fi in airplanes, trucks, trains and buses. On one side, we like to take advantage of this free (sometimes…) and on demand access, to stay communicated and be productive, but at the same time, a cyber-bandit can access our information and the vehicle information via the same internet system. There are always two sides of every metal coin. The automotive cyber hacking ® is a game changer. Beware and Be Aware!

     

    Social Media for Automotive Industry

       A look at how Social Media empowers automotive dealers through increased exposure and interaction with consumers. Thanks to technology, Social Media has become a necessity for automotive dealers when selling cars and services. While the digital landscape has given consumers access to resources and more information, and therefore more power, it has also given dealers more power as well, to reach more consumers, alter perceptions, create new trends, present more products and get sales to more customers. With consumers heavily relying on new media and internet to select choices and features on each model and make, manufacturers and dealers have the ability to control what messages they send.
    Dealers and customers, they meet in the new middle-earth: Social Media, and they all love it.
    Why Social Media is important to dealers?
    What Social Media brings to the business?
    How dealers gain by being active on Social Media?

     

    HEDI ENGHELBERG
    MECH. ENGINEER, AUTHOR
    AUGUST 3RD, 2015

     

     

     

     

     


    Fragment of a larger work:
    HEDI ENGHELBERG
    SOCIAL MEDIA IN TIMES OF PEACE AND WAR
    CYBER WARS, CYBER ESPIONAGE, CYBER FRAUD, CYBER CRIME. CYBER CONTROL OF INFORMATION
    FROM THE UNIVERSAL POINT-OF-VIEW OF THE PROCESS AND ITS USES IN TIMES OF PEACE AND WAR. SOCIAL MEDIA AS A CULTURAL CONCEPT. POLITICAL THEORY STUDY
    ISBN 978-1-60585-126-6
    MARCH 2015 | AUGUST 2015 MMXV
    WWW.AMAZON.COM

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