Tag Archives: cars

New Attack Against Self-Driving Car AI

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2024/05/new-attack-against-self-driving-car-ai.html

This is another attack that convinces the AI to ignore road signs:

Due to the way CMOS cameras operate, rapidly changing light from fast flashing diodes can be used to vary the color. For example, the shade of red on a stop sign could look different on each line depending on the time between the diode flash and the line capture.

The result is the camera capturing an image full of lines that don’t quite match each other. The information is cropped and sent to the classifier, usually based on deep neural networks, for interpretation. Because it’s full of lines that don’t match, the classifier doesn’t recognize the image as a traffic sign.

So far, all of this has been demonstrated before.

Yet these researchers not only executed on the distortion of light, they did it repeatedly, elongating the length of the interference. This meant an unrecognizable image wasn’t just a single anomaly among many accurate images, but rather a constant unrecognizable image the classifier couldn’t assess, and a serious security concern.

[…]

The researchers developed two versions of a stable attack. The first was GhostStripe1, which is not targeted and does not require access to the vehicle, we’re told. It employs a vehicle tracker to monitor the victim’s real-time location and dynamically adjust the LED flickering accordingly.

GhostStripe2 is targeted and does require access to the vehicle, which could perhaps be covertly done by a hacker while the vehicle is undergoing maintenance. It involves placing a transducer on the power wire of the camera to detect framing moments and refine timing control.

Research paper.

Cheating Automatic Toll Booths by Obscuring License Plates

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2024/03/cheating-automatic-toll-booths-by-obscuring-license-plates.html

The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a variety of techniques drivers are using to obscure their license plates so that automatic readers can’t identify them and charge tolls properly.

Some drivers have power-washed paint off their plates or covered them with a range of household items such as leaf-shaped magnets, Bramwell-Stewart said. The Port Authority says officers in 2023 roughly doubled the number of summonses issued for obstructed, missing or fictitious license plates compared with the prior year.

Bramwell-Stewart said one driver from New Jersey repeatedly used what’s known in the streets as a flipper, which lets you remotely swap out a car’s real plate for a bogus one ahead of a toll area. In this instance, the bogus plate corresponded to an actual one registered to a woman who was mystified to receive the tolls. “Why do you keep billing me?” Bramwell-Stewart recalled her asking.

[…]

Cathy Sheridan, president of MTA Bridges and Tunnels in New York City, showed video of a flipper in action at a recent public meeting, after the car was stopped by police. One minute it had New York plates, the next it sported Texas tags. She also showed a clip of a second car with a device that lowered a cover over the plate like a curtain.

Boing Boing post.

Automakers Are Sharing Driver Data with Insurers without Consent

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2024/03/automakers-are-sharing-driver-data-with-insurers-without-consent.html

Kasmir Hill has the story:

Modern cars are internet-enabled, allowing access to services like navigation, roadside assistance and car apps that drivers can connect to their vehicles to locate them or unlock them remotely. In recent years, automakers, including G.M., Honda, Kia and Hyundai, have started offering optional features in their connected-car apps that rate people’s driving. Some drivers may not realize that, if they turn on these features, the car companies then give information about how they drive to data brokers like LexisNexis [who then sell it to insurance companies].

Automakers and data brokers that have partnered to collect detailed driving data from millions of Americans say they have drivers’ permission to do so. But the existence of these partnerships is nearly invisible to drivers, whose consent is obtained in fine print and murky privacy policies that few read.

Hacking Gas Pumps via Bluetooth

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/10/hacking-gas-pumps-via-bluetooth.html

Turns out pumps at gas stations are controlled via Bluetooth, and that the connections are insecure. No details in the article, but it seems that it’s easy to take control of the pump and have it dispense gas without requiring payment.

It’s a complicated crime to monetize, though. You need to sell access to the gas pump to others.

EDITED TO ADD (10/13): Reader Jeff Hall says that story is not accurate, and that the gas pumps do not have a Bluetooth connection.

Cars Have Terrible Data Privacy

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/09/cars-have-terrible-data-privacy.html

A new Mozilla Foundation report concludes that cars, all of them, have terrible data privacy.

All 25 car brands we researched earned our *Privacy Not Included warning label—making cars the official worst category of products for privacy that we have ever reviewed.

There’s a lot of details in the report. They’re all bad.

BoingBoing post.

On Robots Killing People

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/09/on-robots-killing-people.html

The robot revolution began long ago, and so did the killing. One day in 1979, a robot at a Ford Motor Company casting plant malfunctioned—human workers determined that it was not going fast enough. And so twenty-five-year-old Robert Williams was asked to climb into a storage rack to help move things along. The one-ton robot continued to work silently, smashing into Williams’s head and instantly killing him. This was reportedly the first incident in which a robot killed a human; many more would follow.

At Kawasaki Heavy Industries in 1981, Kenji Urada died in similar circumstances. A malfunctioning robot he went to inspect killed him when he obstructed its path, according to Gabriel Hallevy in his 2013 book, When Robots Kill: Artificial Intelligence Under Criminal Law. As Hallevy puts it, the robot simply determined that “the most efficient way to eliminate the threat was to push the worker into an adjacent machine.” From 1992 to 2017, workplace robots were responsible for 41 recorded deaths in the United States—and that’s likely an underestimate, especially when you consider knock-on effects from automation, such as job loss. A robotic anti-aircraft cannon killed nine South African soldiers in 2007 when a possible software failure led the machine to swing itself wildly and fire dozens of lethal rounds in less than a second. In a 2018 trial, a medical robot was implicated in killing Stephen Pettitt during a routine operation that had occurred a few years earlier.

You get the picture. Robots—”intelligent” and not—have been killing people for decades. And the development of more advanced artificial intelligence has only increased the potential for machines to cause harm. Self-driving cars are already on American streets, and robotic "dogs" are being used by law enforcement. Computerized systems are being given the capabilities to use tools, allowing them to directly affect the physical world. Why worry about the theoretical emergence of an all-powerful, superintelligent program when more immediate problems are at our doorstep? Regulation must push companies toward safe innovation and innovation in safety. We are not there yet.

Historically, major disasters have needed to occur to spur regulation—the types of disasters we would ideally foresee and avoid in today’s AI paradigm. The 1905 Grover Shoe Factory disaster led to regulations governing the safe operation of steam boilers. At the time, companies claimed that large steam-automation machines were too complex to rush safety regulations. This, of course, led to overlooked safety flaws and escalating disasters. It wasn’t until the American Society of Mechanical Engineers demanded risk analysis and transparency that dangers from these huge tanks of boiling water, once considered mystifying, were made easily understandable. The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire led to regulations on sprinkler systems and emergency exits. And the preventable 1912 sinking of the Titanic resulted in new regulations on lifeboats, safety audits, and on-ship radios.

Perhaps the best analogy is the evolution of the Federal Aviation Administration. Fatalities in the first decades of aviation forced regulation, which required new developments in both law and technology. Starting with the Air Commerce Act of 1926, Congress recognized that the integration of aerospace tech into people’s lives and our economy demanded the highest scrutiny. Today, every airline crash is closely examined, motivating new technologies and procedures.

Any regulation of industrial robots stems from existing industrial regulation, which has been evolving for many decades. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established safety standards for machinery, and the Robotic Industries Association, now merged into the Association for Advancing Automation, has been instrumental in developing and updating specific robot-safety standards since its founding in 1974. Those standards, with obscure names such as R15.06 and ISO 10218, emphasize inherent safe design, protective measures, and rigorous risk assessments for industrial robots.

But as technology continues to change, the government needs to more clearly regulate how and when robots can be used in society. Laws need to clarify who is responsible, and what the legal consequences are, when a robot’s actions result in harm. Yes, accidents happen. But the lessons of aviation and workplace safety demonstrate that accidents are preventable when they are openly discussed and subjected to proper expert scrutiny.

AI and robotics companies don’t want this to happen. OpenAI, for example, has reportedly fought to “water down” safety regulations and reduce AI-quality requirements. According to an article in Time, it lobbied European Union officials against classifying models like ChatGPT as “high risk” which would have brought “stringent legal requirements including transparency, traceability, and human oversight.” The reasoning was supposedly that OpenAI did not intend to put its products to high-risk use—a logical twist akin to the Titanic owners lobbying that the ship should not be inspected for lifeboats on the principle that it was a “general purpose” vessel that also could sail in warm waters where there were no icebergs and people could float for days. (OpenAI did not comment when asked about its stance on regulation; previously, it has said that “achieving our mission requires that we work to mitigate both current and longer-term risks,” and that it is working toward that goal by “collaborating with policymakers, researchers and users.”)

Large corporations have a tendency to develop computer technologies to self-servingly shift the burdens of their own shortcomings onto society at large, or to claim that safety regulations protecting society impose an unjust cost on corporations themselves, or that security baselines stifle innovation. We’ve heard it all before, and we should be extremely skeptical of such claims. Today’s AI-related robot deaths are no different from the robot accidents of the past. Those industrial robots malfunctioned, and human operators trying to assist were killed in unexpected ways. Since the first-known death resulting from the feature in January 2016, Tesla’s Autopilot has been implicated in more than 40 deaths according to official report estimates. Malfunctioning Teslas on Autopilot have deviated from their advertised capabilities by misreading road markings, suddenly veering into other cars or trees, crashing into well-marked service vehicles, or ignoring red lights, stop signs, and crosswalks. We’re concerned that AI-controlled robots already are moving beyond accidental killing in the name of efficiency and “deciding” to kill someone in order to achieve opaque and remotely controlled objectives.

As we move into a future where robots are becoming integral to our lives, we can’t forget that safety is a crucial part of innovation. True technological progress comes from applying comprehensive safety standards across technologies, even in the realm of the most futuristic and captivating robotic visions. By learning lessons from past fatalities, we can enhance safety protocols, rectify design flaws, and prevent further unnecessary loss of life.

For example, the UK government already sets out statements that safety matters. Lawmakers must reach further back in history to become more future-focused on what we must demand right now: modeling threats, calculating potential scenarios, enabling technical blueprints, and ensuring responsible engineering for building within parameters that protect society at large. Decades of experience have given us the empirical evidence to guide our actions toward a safer future with robots. Now we need the political will to regulate.

This essay was written with Davi Ottenheimer, and previously appeared on Atlantic.com.

Own Your Own Government Surveillance Van

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/08/own-your-own-government-surveillance-van.html

A used government surveillance van is for sale in Chicago:

So how was this van turned into a mobile spying center? Well, let’s start with how it has more LCD monitors than a Counterstrike LAN party. They can be used to monitor any of six different video inputs including a videoscope camera. A videoscope and a borescope are very similar as they’re both cameras on the ends of optical fibers, so the same tech you’d use to inspect cylinder walls is also useful for surveillance. Kind of cool, right? Multiple Sony DVD-based video recorders store footage captured by cameras, audio recorders by high-end equipment brand Marantz capture sounds, and time and date generators sync gathered media up for accurate analysis. Circling back around to audio, this van features seven different audio inputs including a body wire channel.

Only $26,795, but you can probably negotiate them down.

Applying AI to License Plate Surveillance

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/08/applying-ai-to-license-plate-surveillance.html

License plate scanners aren’t new. Neither is using them for bulk surveillance. What’s new is that AI is being used on the data, identifying “suspicious” vehicle behavior:

Typically, Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology is used to search for plates linked to specific crimes. But in this case it was used to examine the driving patterns of anyone passing one of Westchester County’s 480 cameras over a two-year period. Zayas’ lawyer Ben Gold contested the AI-gathered evidence against his client, decrying it as “dragnet surveillance.”

And he had the data to back it up. A FOIA he filed with the Westchester police revealed that the ALPR system was scanning over 16 million license plates a week, across 480 ALPR cameras. Of those systems, 434 were stationary, attached to poles and signs, while the remaining 46 were mobile, attached to police vehicles. The AI was not just looking at license plates either. It had also been taking notes on vehicles’ make, model and color—useful when a plate number for a suspect vehicle isn’t visible or is unknown.

Disabling Self-Driving Cars with a Traffic Cone

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/07/disabling-self-driving-cars-with-a-traffic-cone.html

You can disable a self-driving car by putting a traffic cone on its hood:

The group got the idea for the conings by chance. The person claims a few of them walking together one night saw a cone on the hood of an AV, which appeared disabled. They weren’t sure at the time which came first; perhaps someone had placed the cone on the AV’s hood to signify it was disabled rather than the other way around. But, it gave them an idea, and when they tested it, they found that a cone on a hood renders the vehicles little more than a multi-ton hunk of useless metal. The group suspects the cone partially blocks the LIDAR detectors on the roof of the car, in much the same way that a human driver wouldn’t be able to safely drive with a cone on the hood. But there is no human inside to get out and simply remove the cone, so the car is stuck.

Delightfully low-tech.

Self-Driving Cars Are Surveillance Cameras on Wheels

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/07/self-driving-cars-are-surveillance-cameras-on-wheels.html

Police are already using self-driving car footage as video evidence:

While security cameras are commonplace in American cities, self-driving cars represent a new level of access for law enforcement ­ and a new method for encroachment on privacy, advocates say. Crisscrossing the city on their routes, self-driving cars capture a wider swath of footage. And it’s easier for law enforcement to turn to one company with a large repository of videos and a dedicated response team than to reach out to all the businesses in a neighborhood with security systems.

“We’ve known for a long time that they are essentially surveillance cameras on wheels,” said Chris Gilliard, a fellow at the Social Science Research Council. “We’re supposed to be able to go about our business in our day-to-day lives without being surveilled unless we are suspected of a crime, and each little bit of this technology strips away that ability.”

[…]

While self-driving services like Waymo and Cruise have yet to achieve the same level of market penetration as Ring, the wide range of video they capture while completing their routes presents other opportunities. In addition to the San Francisco homicide, Bloomberg’s review of court documents shows police have sought footage from Waymo and Cruise to help solve hit-and-runs, burglaries, aggravated assaults, a fatal collision and an attempted kidnapping.

In all cases reviewed by Bloomberg, court records show that police collected footage from Cruise and Waymo shortly after obtaining a warrant. In several cases, Bloomberg could not determine whether the recordings had been used in the resulting prosecutions; in a few of the cases, law enforcement and attorneys said the footage had not played a part, or was only a formality. However, video evidence has become a lynchpin of criminal cases, meaning it’s likely only a matter of time.

The Software-Defined Car

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/06/the-software-defined-car.html

Developers are starting to talk about the software-defined car.

For decades, features have accumulated like cruft in new vehicles: a box here to control the antilock brakes, a module there to run the cruise control radar, and so on. Now engineers and designers are rationalizing the way they go about building new models, taking advantage of much more powerful hardware to consolidate all those discrete functions into a small number of domain controllers.

The behavior of new cars is increasingly defined by software, too. This is merely the progression of a trend that began at the end of the 1970s with the introduction of the first electronic engine control units; today, code controls a car’s engine and transmission (or its electric motors and battery pack), the steering, brakes, suspension, interior and exterior lighting, and more, depending on how new (and how expensive) it is. And those systems are being leveraged for convenience or safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, remote parking, and so on.

And security?

Another advantage of the move away from legacy designs is that digital security can be baked in from the start rather than patched onto components (like a car’s central area network) that were never designed with the Internet in mind. “If you design it from scratch, it’s security by design, everything is in by design; you have it there. But keep in mind that, of course, the more software there is in the car, the more risk is there for vulnerabilities, no question about this,” Anhalt said.

“At the same time, they’re a great software system. They’re highly secure. They’re much more secure than a hardware system with a little bit of software. It depends how the whole thing has been designed. And there are so many regulations and EU standards that have been released in the last year, year and a half, that force OEMs to comply with these standards and get security inside,” she said.

I suppose it could end up that way. It could also be a much bigger attack surface, with a lot more hacking possibilities.

Hacks at Pwn2Own Vancouver 2023

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/03/hacks-at-pwn2own-vancouver-2023.html

An impressive array of hacks were demonstrated at the first day of the Pwn2Own conference in Vancouver:

On the first day of Pwn2Own Vancouver 2023, security researchers successfully demoed Tesla Model 3, Windows 11, and macOS zero-day exploits and exploit chains to win $375,000 and a Tesla Model 3.

The first to fall was Adobe Reader in the enterprise applications category after Haboob SA’s Abdul Aziz Hariri (@abdhariri) used an exploit chain targeting a 6-bug logic chain abusing multiple failed patches which escaped the sandbox and bypassed a banned API list on macOS to earn $50,000.

The STAR Labs team (@starlabs_sg) demoed a zero-day exploit chain targeting Microsoft’s SharePoint team collaboration platform that brought them a $100,000 reward and successfully hacked Ubuntu Desktop with a previously known exploit for $15,000.

Synacktiv (@Synacktiv) took home $100,000 and a Tesla Model 3 after successfully executing a TOCTOU (time-of-check to time-of-use) attack against the Tesla-Gateway in the Automotive category. They also used a TOCTOU zero-day vulnerability to escalate privileges on Apple macOS and earned $40,000.

Oracle VirtualBox was hacked using an OOB Read and a stacked-based buffer overflow exploit chain (worth $40,000) by Qrious Security’s Bien Pham (@bienpnn).

Last but not least, Marcin Wiązowski elevated privileges on Windows 11 using an improper input validation zero-day that came with a $30,000 prize.

The con’s second and third days were equally impressive.

A Device to Turn Traffic Lights Green

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2023/02/a-device-to-turn-traffic-lights-green.html

Here’s a story about a hacker who reprogrammed a device called “Flipper Zero” to mimic Opticom transmitters—to turn traffic lights in his path green.

As mentioned earlier, the Flipper Zero has a built-in sub-GHz radio that lets the device receive data (or transmit it, with the right firmware in approved regions) on the same wireless frequencies as keyfobs and other devices. Most traffic preemption devices intended for emergency traffic redirection don’t actually transmit signals over RF. Instead, they use optical technology to beam infrared light from vehicles to static receivers mounted on traffic light poles.

Perhaps the most well-known branding for these types of devices is called Opticom. Essentially, the tech works by detecting a specific pattern of infrared light emitted by the Mobile Infrared Transmitter (MIRT) installed in a police car, fire truck, or ambulance when the MIRT is switched on. When the receiver detects the light, the traffic system then initiates a signal change as the emergency vehicle approaches an intersection, safely redirecting the traffic flow so that the emergency vehicle can pass through the intersection as if it were regular traffic and potentially avoid a collision.

This seems easy to do, but it’s also very illegal. It’s called “impersonating an emergency vehicle,” and it comes with hefty penalties if you’re caught.

Sirius XM Software Vulnerability

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/12/sirius-xm-software-vulnerability.html

This is new:

Newly revealed research shows that a number of major car brands, including Honda, Nissan, Infiniti, and Acura, were affected by a previously undisclosed security bug that would have allowed a savvy hacker to hijack vehicles and steal user data. According to researchers, the bug was in the car’s Sirius XM telematics infrastructure and would have allowed a hacker to remotely locate a vehicle, unlock and start it, flash the lights, honk the horn, pop the trunk, and access sensitive customer info like the owner’s name, phone number, address, and vehicle details.

Cars are just computers with four wheels and an engine. It’s no surprise that the software is vulnerable, and that everything is connected.

Hacking Automobile Keyless Entry Systems

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/10/hacking-automobile-keyless-entry-systems.html

Suspected members of a European car-theft ring have been arrested:

The criminals targeted vehicles with keyless entry and start systems, exploiting the technology to get into the car and drive away.

As a result of a coordinated action carried out on 10 October in the three countries involved, 31 suspects were arrested. A total of 22 locations were searched, and over EUR 1 098 500 in criminal assets seized.

The criminals targeted keyless vehicles from two French car manufacturers. A fraudulent tool—marketed as an automotive diagnostic solution, was used to replace the original software of the vehicles, allowing the doors to be opened and the ignition to be started without the actual key fob.

Among those arrested feature the software developers, its resellers and the car thieves who used this tool to steal vehicles.

The article doesn’t say how the hacking tool got installed into cars. Were there crooked auto mechanics, dealers, or something else?