Updates are coming for a telematics unit that hacked a Corvette

by Jeremy Kirk
IDG News Service


Security updates are being distributed for a telematics control unit (TCU) that security researchers showed could be manipulated to remotely apply the brakes of a Corvette, according to the device’s French manufacturer.

The device is a small dongle that plugs into the On-Board Diagnostics II (OBD-II) port on a vehicle, usually located under the driver’s side dashboard. TCUs with cellular connections are increasingly being used in vehicles by insurance companies to monitor drivers or for fleet management.

At the USENIX security conference this week in Washington, D.C., academics from the University of California demonstrated how a C4E family dongle from Paris-based Mobile Devices Ingenierie could be remotely accessed.

TCU’s collect data from a vehicle and have access to its CAN bus, which interfaces with a variety of sensors. The academics showed they could send a remote command by text message to the TCU and access the CAN bus.

For example, they turned on the Corvette’s windshield wipers and applied its brakes while the car was traveling at a low speed, according to a video.

Aaron Solomon, CEO at Mobile Devices, said via email Wednesday that his company is identifying vulnerable deployed devices and is aiming to secure them with a new security pack within 10 days.

“We are currently identifying—together with our customers—all the deployments that were made without activating all the security mechanisms and making sure the security pack gets applied to all vehicles that are concerned,” he wrote.

Full Story: Updates are coming for a telematics unit that hacked a Corvette