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Comments
Hackin' At The Car Wash, Yeah
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Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
2/19/2015 | 4:41:17 PM
Such a low-tech thing and yet so vulnerable..
Talk about a free ride. I never in a million years would have considered a car wash to be a cyber threat. Amazing... 

 
1eustace
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1eustace,
User Rank: Strategist
2/19/2015 | 5:56:51 PM
Connectivity spells vulnerability, software lockdown is only a start
This story presents an excellent view into the future.  Every device or network, no matter how small or inconsequential, is a potential cyber threat of unimmaginable magnitude.  Once connected, it becomes part of a network, which in turns becomes part of a larger network and so forth.  It essentially becomes an endpoint with all the potential vulnerabilities of all network endpoints.

Just because it is a Barbie doll (or similar benign product) in your child's hands and not a heavy robotic arm does not make it any less of a threat.  Once connected, it becomes easily dangerous.  Staying with the Barbie example, many can appreciate the dangers of internet creeps using such products to exploit children.  But more are still to garner the same level of appreciation to the reverse - crooks taking advantage of the child's presence (presence of the connected doll really) to gain access to the network to which it is connected for malicious exploits.  Exploit impact depends on the sensitivity of that or other connecting networks.  Potential vulnerabilities of such seemingly benign products are often not in the forethought of their owners who just want to see them work.  

(Just so there are no misunderstandings, Barbie is just an illustrative example here and this comment post is not meant to imply vulnerabilities with Barbies).

Software lock downs and strong authentication is a great step towards securing connected devices, but this is not enough. The crown jewels of all exploits is access to underlying authentication/security keys, which will continue to remain vulnerable until product manufacturers adopt use of tamper resistant hardware to properly protect them.
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
2/19/2015 | 7:02:12 PM
Re: Connectivity spells vulnerability, software lockdown is only a start
Good points, @1eustace. Billy Rios believes there is a role for regulation when it comes to devices with moving parts that if hacked could cause physical damage and a public safety hazard. He says we can't expect every consumer device or service maker to understand or provide security the way things stand today. He gave the example of how the FDA is getting involved with helping ensure secure medical devices.
prospecttoreza
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prospecttoreza,
User Rank: Strategist
2/20/2015 | 9:51:14 AM
Have anyone of the reader here deployed any changes into production?
In my experience, when you deploy changes, you do this - log off users, deploy, test, and only then you let the users back in. "story about how technicians had misconfigured one car wash location remotely." - BUT NO ONE BOTHERED TO TEST after the changes were made! With this attitude, there is no difference between making changes remotely or locally. If you do not test, you are bound to have issues.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
2/20/2015 | 11:37:46 AM
Car wireless
We all know security measures were not put in place when car makers put wireless devices into cars, that is really not surprising at all. We would be hearing more incidents about it since cars are becoming more intelligent and we tend to do more things when we are in the car in addition to talking on the phone.

 
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
2/20/2015 | 11:39:11 AM
Re: Have anyone of the reader here deployed any changes into production?
" log off users, deploy, test, and only then you let the users back in.  " I hear you, this would be a big struggle in today's world tough.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
2/20/2015 | 11:41:08 AM
Re: Connectivity spells vulnerability, software lockdown is only a start
I agree. FDA should be involved securing car wireless too. We tend to overestimate this in the airplanes and under estimate it in cars.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
2/20/2015 | 11:42:18 AM
Re: Such a low-tech thing and yet so vulnerable..
True. The world has changed, you do not know in what direction you would get hit. 
theb0x
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theb0x,
User Rank: Ninja
2/20/2015 | 12:23:26 PM
5 Digit PIN
Most car wash systems accept a 5 digit pin for prepaid service. The first digit is usually 0.

A lot of the time punching in the ZIP code works because it is preprogrammed by the owner for use by law enforcement officials.


Brute forcing the 5 digit pin is also quite easy using a certain method I can not disclose.
1eustace
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1eustace,
User Rank: Strategist
2/20/2015 | 2:25:36 PM
Re: Have anyone of the reader here deployed any changes into production?
Changes are deployed into production system all the times.  You don't hear of airport shutting down because they need to update firmware in air traffic control or baggage systems, you don't hear of city blackouts because the smart grid systems need updates and/or repair, United and Continental airlines merged a few years back without taking (much) break from flights or bookings, etc., etc.  I think a better questions is were the systems designed to accommodate changes e.g. for the car wash, was it designed to accommodate secure local and remote interraction in operation and maintenance?  

Forethought in security has historically been associated only with large and/or critical systems or products and everything else receives security treatment, if any, as an afterthought.  This model worked in the past because systems and products lived in their own islands.  With the ever growing connectedness in the new world, there is no choice but to make security part of the design and development process of every system or products.
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