$32 device unlocks car and garage doors

$32 device unlocks car and garage doors

Well-known hacker demonstrates new device to intercept opening codes for cars and garage doors.

It just got much easier for thieves to break into your car or your home, as Samy Kamkar, a well-known hacker and security researcher, has developed a device for intercepting your beeper codes, says CNBC.com.

The device, costing only $32, was to be demonstrated at the hacker conference DefCon on Monday, according to the report.  The unit is called RollJam, and is designed to hack the “rolling codes” security systems that are used in keyless entry automobile doors and most new garage door openers.

The hacker will place the device, smaller that a cell phone, next a car or garage door to allow the unit to intercept the code.  The unit uses a system of radios to jam and record the signal being sent to unlock the door.  The hacker can leave the device in place until he thinks the time is right to use it to break in.  The unit can jam and record as many times a necessary, and the most recent code will be available to the hacker when he retrieves the device.

Kamkar says he has tested the unit on a number of cars and garage doors with great success.  He estimates that millions of cars and doors may be vulnerable to the device.

Kamkar also says he thinks the root of the problem is the chips used by the manufacturers, the Keeloq system, sold by the firm Microchip and the Hisec chips, sold by Texas Instruments.

There is a new version of the Keeloq chip, called Dual Keeloq that uses a set of expiring codes that can prevent such an attack.  Kamkar says his goal is to make manufacturers aware of the problem, so they will implement stronger measures to protect their customers.

He added that car manufacturers should know that systems without expiring codes are vulnerable to attack, and the RollJam was designed to prove that upgrades need to be made.


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