Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security

11/7/2019
07:30 AM
By Alex Wawro, Special to Dark Reading
By Alex Wawro, Special to Dark Reading
News
50%
50%

Black Hat Q&A: Hacking a '90s Sports Car

Security researcher Stanislas Lejay offers a preview of his upcoming Black Hat Europe talk on automotive engine computer management and hardware reverse engineering.

Communicating with your car and building your own tools is easier than you think, and well worth the effort, says Stanislas Lejay who will be briefing attendees in London at Black Hat Europe next month on Unleashing the Power of My 20+ Years Old Car. It's a fun and fascinating look at Lejay's efforts to bypass the speed limiter (set at ~180 km/h) and still pass inspection.

Lejay opens up to Dark Reading about the process, what he learned, and what Black Hat attendees can look forward to in his Briefing.

Alex: Tell us a bit about how you got into cybersecurity, and what you're currently working on.

I went to a computer engineering school in France (EPITA) and followed the normal 5-year course. However, in the middle of my second year, a senior showed me a book called "Hacking: The Art of Exploitation" that I started reading "just for fun." But as I was reading, I found it fascinating to try to think the other way around to break code, and make it do stuff it was never designed to do.

So I started learning reverse engineering and exploitation in my free time. (We didn't have any class related to that until the fourth year, if you choose the infosec specialization.) I started participating in a few capture the flag competions (CTFs), ROPing in my own code, and just trying to see how far I could go. I played with console hacking, emulation, firmwares, and eventually started working on cars.

A few years, projects and conferences later, I work as an automotive computer security engineer near Tokyo and fiddle with my own cars' engine control units (ECUs) in my spare time.

Alex: What inspired you to pitch this talk for Black Hat Europe?

Stanislas Lejay: This talk is a result of a real-life project I had going on, with a real purpose. I think that talking about a project with successes and failures, and a clear goal in sight, is the best way to actually get people interested in stuff they wouldn't bother learning about otherwise. People seemed to enjoy my last talk about "car hacking," so while writing an article about it is nice, being able to show it to an audience and exchange thoughts on the subject afterward sounds even better.

Alex: Any fun anecdotes about fiddling with your cars in Japan?

Stanislas Lejay: Well, so far it can still pass "Shaken" (the mandatory car inspection every two years) because my system doesn't modify the ECU and is basically just a bypass circuit that I can activate or not with a switch. So, in regard to the law, my car is still 100% stock but for "a few additional wires and microcontrollers." All my cars are still road-legal, so far, as it is one of my main concerns when modifying them. So no, sorry, no fun anecdote on that side!

Alex: What do you hope Black Hat attendees will get out of seeing your talk?

Stanislas Lejay: While this talk doesn't expose anything new, even less knowing that the car is 20 years old, it should still let people get an idea of how fun it is to play with cars, what you can do with them, and that most aftermarket tools you can buy for pretty high prices are not witchcraft. Communicating with your car and building your own tools for it is actually not that hard and can help you get a lot of insights, for cheap, on what's going on in your car when you actually drive it.

Get more information on Lejay’s Briefing and lots of other cutting-edge content in the Briefings schedule for Black Hat Europe, which returns to The Excel in London December 2-5, 2019. For more information on what’s happening at the event and how to register, check out the Black Hat website

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
TerryWilliams
50%
50%
TerryWilliams,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/13/2019 | 12:01:15 PM
thanks
very useful information
charlesemorris
50%
50%
charlesemorris,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/12/2019 | 2:05:55 AM
Re: thank for somuch
wow
anthonydrobbins
50%
50%
anthonydrobbins,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/8/2019 | 2:45:57 AM
thank for somuch
hihihi
Exploits Released for As-Yet Unpatched Critical Citrix Flaw
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/13/2020
Microsoft to Officially End Support for Windows 7, Server 2008
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/13/2020
Active Directory Needs an Update: Here's Why
Raz Rafaeli, CEO and Co-Founder at Secret Double Octopus,  1/16/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-5397
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
Spring Framework, versions 5.2.x prior to 5.2.3 are vulnerable to CSRF attacks through CORS preflight requests that target Spring MVC (spring-webmvc module) or Spring WebFlux (spring-webflux module) endpoints. Only non-authenticated endpoints are vulnerable because preflight requests should not incl...
CVE-2019-17635
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
Eclipse Memory Analyzer version 1.9.1 and earlier is subject to a deserialization vulnerability if an index file of a parsed heap dump is replaced by a malicious version and the heap dump is reopened in Memory Analyzer. The user must chose to reopen an already parsed heap dump with an untrusted inde...
CVE-2019-19339
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
It was found that the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 kpatch update did not include the complete fix for CVE-2018-12207. A flaw was found in the way Intel CPUs handle inconsistency between, virtual to physical memory address translations in CPU's local cache and system software's Paging structure entries...
CVE-2007-6070
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2008-1382. Reason: This candidate is a reservation duplicate of CVE-2008-1382. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2008-1382 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to prevent ...
CVE-2019-17634
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
Eclipse Memory Analyzer version 1.9.1 and earlier is subject to a cross site scripting (XSS) vulnerability when generating an HTML report from a malicious heap dump. The user must chose todownload, open the malicious heap dump and generate an HTML report for the problem to occur. The heap dump could...