A $20 Tool for Assassination-By-Car (and Tesla’s last asssitant speaks, Nazi/CIA followup)

Followup: Just in case anyone thought I was just Godwinning the CIA, it’s worth noting what I said was literally true. The US military-intelligence complex essentially took the entire Nazi research program (whatever the Russians didn’t grab), transplanted it to the US, gave the scientists lab space and money, and told them “keep up the good work.”

The situation was so absurd, the CIA’s chief of research and development — and his deputies! — became known for strutting around Langley in original Nazi SS uniforms.

(You know, the snazzy black ones with red armbands, that Hugo Boss designed for the concentration camp guards, Hitler’s personal bodyguards, etc. Modeling themselves on the Jesuits they appeared to hate, the SS specialized in being everywhere evil needed doing.)

How about a $20 gadget made with untraceable off-the-shelf parts, that you can plug in to someone’s car and trigger remotely to cause a deadly crash?

The device is a bit smaller than an iPhone and needs to be connected via four wires to the car’s Controller Area Network bus. This takes about five minutes’ work under the hood, in the trunk, or in some cases just under the car.

At the moment, the tool (which will be presented at the Black Hat Asia conference) is activated via Bluetooth, so you have to be relatively near the car to trigger it. By the time it premieres at the conference, though, it’ll have a GSM module so you can cause mayhem from halfway around the world.

As this is a security research project they won’t actually be publishing the code they used to interface to the CAN bus or selling these gadgets to the underground. However… something to think about before you trust that new-model all-electronic vehicle with your life.

The criminal underworld is quite capable of making one of these on their own. (Even if leaving behind gadgetry is poor form for ‘make it look like an accident’ assassinations.)

Tesla’s last assistant speaks!–
A recorded statement by one of Tesla’s last assistants. Plenty of remarkable claims here (and if you search the guy’s name, you get some really out there stuff) so I will let you judge the veracity of this for yourself.

However, a couple of reasons I think this is worth posting…
1) Many of the inventions described in this recording I’ve seen referenced elsewhere, including a few details I wouldn’t expect in a fabrication.

2) A Canadian man named Arther Mathews was indeed one of Tesla’s last assistants, and he lived in Quebec. That Tesla had a secret lab in Canada in the years leading up to his death is also known.

3) As an audio recording, it’s a bit harder to fake and a bit easier to judge the authenticity of. It ‘sounds real’ to me, if you will.

In any case, well worth a listen/read.




“At the Black Hat Asia security conference in Singapore next month, Spanish security researchers Javier Vazquez-Vidal and Alberto Garcia Illera plan to present a small gadget they built for less than $20 that can be physically connected to a car’s internal network to inject malicious commands affecting everything from its windows and headlights to its steering and brakes. Their tool, which is about three-quarters the size of an iPhone, attaches via four wires to the Controller Area Network or CAN bus of a vehicle, drawing power from the car’s electrical system and waiting to relay wireless commands sent remotely from an attacker’s computer. They call their creation the CAN Hacking Tool, or CHT.

“It can take five minutes or less to hook it up and then walk away,” says Vazquez Vidal, who works as a automobile IT security consultant in Germany. “We could wait one minute or one year, and then trigger it to do whatever we have programmed it to do.”

Just what commands the researchers can remotely inject with the CHT, Vazquez Vidal says, depends on the model of car. They tested four different vehicles, whose specific make and model they declined to name, and their tricks ranged from mere mischief like switching off headlights, setting off alarms, and rolling windows up and down to accessing anti-lock brake or emergency brake systems that could potentially cause a sudden stop in traffic. In some cases, the attacks required gaining under-the-hood access or opening the car’s trunk, while in other instances, they say they could simply crawl under the car to plant the device.

For now, the tool communicates via only Bluetooth, limiting the range of any wireless attack to a few feet. But by the time the two researchers present their research in Singapore, they say they’ll upgrade it to use a GSM cellular radio instead that would make it possible to control the device from miles away.

All the ingredients of their tool are off-the-shelf components, adds Vazquez Vidal, so that even if the device is discovered it wouldn’t necessarily provide clues as to who planted it. “It’s totally untraceable,” he says.[…]

Toyota both brushed off Miller and Valasek’s work by pointing to the fact that their hack required physical access to the vehicle. “Our focus, and that of the entire auto industry, is to prevent hacking from a remote wireless device outside of the vehicle,” Toyota safety manager John Hanson told me at the time.

But Miller and Valasek counter that others had already shown that the initial wireless penetration of a car’s network is indeed possible. In 2011, a team of researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California at San Diego wirelessly penetrated a car’s internals via cellular networks, Bluetooth connections, and even a malicious audio file on a CD in its stereo system.”

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