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The 5 Coolest Hacks of '07 145

Posted by samzenpus
from the still-no-pencil-hack dept.
ancientribe writes "Nothing was sacred to hackers in '07 — not cars, not truckers, and not even the stock exchange. Dark Reading reviews five hacks that went after everyday things we take for granted even more than our PC's — our car navigation system, a trucker's freight, WiFi connections, iPhone, and (gulp) the electronic financial trading systems that record our stock purchases and other online transactions."
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The 5 Coolest Hacks of '07

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  • obvious (Score:5, Funny)

    by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @08:48PM (#21889362) Homepage
    Page 5: 'Hacking capitalism'

    I've heard of that before. [wikipedia.org]
    • My favorite hack was when I went to go look and got "Service Unavailable".
    • by AuMatar (183847)
      Don't you mean this [wikipedia.org]?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sigma 7 (266129)
        A corporation is a large-scale version of a street vendor that has access to a larger quantity of inventory/services. It's as much of a hack as using a more powerful processor for a task, no matter how much Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor believes otherwise.

    • Hack, schmack (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @10:00AM (#21893780) Journal
      I used to be a gay hacker. Then they changed the meanings of all the words, now I'm a happey equipment modifier. No, I'm heterosexual but they changed the meaning of "gay" from "happy and carefree" to "homosexual" and changed the meaning of "hacker" from "someone who writes quick-and-dirty but functional code, or modifies equipment" to "an electronic burglar".

      I was incredibly disappointed with the article (RTFA? I must be new here), so much so that I made it no farther than page one of the short five page adfest. I thought it was going to be about hacking a wi-fi connection so that it doubled as a firewall or something. We nerds still use "hacker" in the old fashioned sense, just as we geezers still sing "deck the halls" without thinking about sodomy.

      Ok, I know language evolves, but unlike the evolution of organisms the evolution of language is usually stupid. Like "gay", which now means "homosexual", half of whom attempt suicide. I never could understand what was so gay about suicide. Now the kids are twisting the word "gay" to mean clumsy, stupid, or dorky.

      As to hacking, fine, now a hacker is a burglar. What do we nerds who write quick single-use code, or those of us who take a soldering iron to a transistor radio to turn it into something besides a radio, call ourselves now?

      And could someone please point to an real NERD article somwhere that actually has the ten best hacks of 2007, instead of the ten best cracks of 2007?

      I'm glad I can afford to be modded down because this really annoys me and I want to know what the rest of the slashdot audience thinks. I wish I'd seen this when it was fresh, nobody will likely seee this comment to mod it down anyway.

      -mcgrew
      • by 0x0000 (140863)
        So to speek z9- of the w20th: represent
  • by Anonymous Coward
    > The Five Coolest Hacks of 2007
    > Nothing was sacred - not cars, not truckers, not even the stock exchange
    >
    > Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0035'
    >
    > File not found
    >
    > E:\LIVE\WEB\WWW.DARKREADING.COM\LIB\../../lib/db.inc, line 166
  • The slashdot effect, within seconds the server dies when the story is posted here.
  • I'm surprised the bluetooth cracking didn't make this list. There's just something about being able to hijack bluetooth devices, or even say sniff out bluetooth keyboards for remote keylogging that just seems cool to me.
  • GPS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @08:59PM (#21889492)
    Car navigation systems have canged our lives for the better.

    Driving has gone from a scary oddysey where I pray I don't miss some tiny sign to an easy journey that is boring at worst.

    It's amazing how a little windshield mounted device can so change your life.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GrEmLiN76X (1130251)
      Yeah.. about that..

      Didn't someone follow their GPS into a river or something recently?

      Oh, maybe I'm thinking of the trucker who followed his GPS into a low bridge on a two-lane parkway that's for non-commercial vehicles only. People need to not rely so much on technology. (Especially while operating a motor vehicle which could potentially kill someone or cause damage to things..)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by peektwice (726616)
        Not to mention the fact <citation needed> that most people drive their GPS enabled cars near their homes, and already know their way around. When they do venture out, it's usually to some place they've already been, and know well enough to navigate. GPSs foster insecurity and the inability to think analytically.
        Go ahead, mod me down, Troll -1.
        • Re:GPS (Score:5, Interesting)

          by iocat (572367) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:21PM (#21890178) Homepage Journal
          My favorite GPS story was driving cross-country with a friend a few years ago. I was like "we should get Burger King." He was like "there's no Burger King around here. The closest place is a taco bell about 2.1 miles to our east." I was like "let's get Burger King" and he was like "I told you, there's no Burger King around here!" and I was like "Look up" so he did, and realized we were across the street from a Burger King. HAHAHA

          GPS is better than a google map, becuase if you mess up there's some ability to recover, but it pales in comparison to actually being able to read a real map, or know your way around someplace. I love maps, and I like my GPS ok, but mostly because I like feeling superior when it's wrong.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by dave562 (969951)
            it pales in comparison to actually being able to read a real map, or know your way around someplace.

            I agree. Being able to find your way around a place and actually find a place on your own seem to engage a completely different part of the brain than simply following directions on a GPS. The only way I can describe it would be it's like the difference between "solving" a math problem by knowing the answer and working the steps to get it, versus actually having confidence in your knowledge of the steps an

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by rikkards (98006)
              I concur. I found that was happening when I used to wear digital (numbered) watches. After about 10 years of pure digital, I ended up getting a nicer dress watch which had hands, I realized it took me about 5 seconds to remember how to read time. Since then I have only had watches with hands on it. Even though I always have a cell phone which will tell me the time, I find I feel naked without a watch.
              • You mean you can't tell the time from the position of the sun in the sky? Pfft.. kids these days relying on their fancy technology...

                I kinda want a GPS just for the geek factor, but the fact is that road signs tend to be enough for me in intercity travel, and if I don't know the local area of the place I'm going to then I google(maps) it. Even when travelling around cities I know, I like to take random roads I've never taken before to find shortcuts. After playing computer games like GTA3 (which has a mi
                • by Sketch (2817)

                  Even when travelling around cities I know, I like to take random roads I've never taken before to find shortcuts. After playing computer games like GTA3 (which has a mini-map with an arrow telling you which direction to take, but not a GPS telling you exactly which road to take) and Test Drive Unlimited (which has a GPS feature which highlights the best roads), then I can confirm that I don't bother trying to remember the roads at all when using the GPS..

                  I like to take random roads too, and GPS is great for finding your way back to major streets after you get lost taking random roads. It's also useful if you want to know if a random road goes through, or ends in half a mile, or if you've been driving parallel to the road your destination is on and have gone too far.

                  I also find I remember roads just fine when I drive on them later without GPS. I think when playing a video game I would probably be more concerned with other parts of the game than navigation

                  • Yep irl I'd be travelling a lot slower, more sensibly, and on the 'right' side of the road ;)
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Tran (721196)
              GPS are good at telling where you specifcally are. Maps tell you more easily where in relationship to other things you are once you know where you are.
              I do some long distance Motorcycle Rallies, and I have runs in some rallies using maps only, GPS only and both maps and GPS. I like having both.
              Plan route with the map( see the relationships), key points/stops in GPS and voila a succesful fun rally.
              But yeah GPS only was the worst experience.
              In normal car trips to relatives I have mixed results with GPS only.
          • I don't know I love real maps and Google maps. With Google I have to upload the information into my head. I never print it out, I just create a mental map of how to get there what the place looks like from the air etc. Really good maps are expensive. I have one and use it, but its really only good for learning how to get different places, as in what are the different routes I could take to get from point A to Point B. Google helps me figure out where A and B are to begin with. I have both, use both, and lov
          • Say hi to Kumar for me.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rmerry72 (934528)

          GPSs foster insecurity and the inability to think analytically.

          Mate you nailed it. I was once asked for directions to the nearest fast food joint, which was a couple of hundred metres down the main road and then right at the lights before the freeway. Easy peasy, right? No, not at all, the conversation followed along the lines of

          • "Hang on , what was that street? I've got GPS so it will tell me"
            "It's literally just left then right at the lights"
            "no, wait, my nav doesn't recognise the name. Can you spell
          • When the machines take over they will probably turn off civillian GPS just to create chaos. That and the Internet, mobile phones and the global financial system.

            At least that's what I'll advise them to do. They'll probably need to keep a few human advisers around afterwards. Reward them well too, since they'll be far more food and booze per Adviser than there was per Human before the takeover.

            So I do value posts like yours. In twenty years time, when I'm Baltar, this information is probably worth a robot tr
            • by rmerry72 (934528)

              When the machines take over they will probably turn off civillian GPS just to create chaos. That and the Internet, mobile phones and the global financial system.

              Actually I can't think of a better way of inciting chaos then leaving them on. How much more distracted and disconnected our society is this last decade thanx so much to these handy Innovations. Now that I think about your point, perhaps it was the machines that introduced them as a way of softening up and dumbing down the population.

              In twenty y

        • GPSs foster insecurity and the inability to think analytically.

          I don't think so. I think some people are just better at navigating at others. And that is a fact. I don't own a GPS but when I have to drive somewhere I'm not familiar with, even with a map and directions I can still get lost. I just suck at navigating. I'm quite good at reading maps btw, which requires mostly analytical skill which I seem to have enough of. But when it comes right down to it I can't seem to map it well onto 3D space. I guess that's a part of reading maps too. So I would have sucked as a

  • Anybody have an alternative link?
  • by Orthuberra (1145497) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:15PM (#21889650)
    or was it hacked???
  • by mcsqueak (1043736) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:17PM (#21889682)

    This isn't quite a real "hack", but more of a "social hack" if you will.

    In 1967 Abbie Hoffman and a group of protesters thew fake money onto the floor of the NYSE (it wasn't blocked by glass back then). Trading on the floor *actually stopped* while traders scrambled around trying to collect the money. Kinda ironic that they'd stop to do that, considering how much more they were actually making doing their real trading. Wikipedia has a little bit on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbie_Hoffman [wikipedia.org]. I don't really know much about Hoffman, but I found the story very amusing myself.

    • by Dun Malg (230075) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:20PM (#21890166) Homepage

      This isn't quite a real "hack", but more of a "social hack" if you will.

      In 1967 Abbie Hoffman and a group of protesters thew fake money onto the floor of the NYSE (it wasn't blocked by glass back then). Trading on the floor *actually stopped* while traders scrambled around trying to collect the money. Kinda ironic that they'd stop to do that, considering how much more they were actually making doing their real trading. Wikipedia has a little bit on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbie_Hoffman [wikipedia.org]. I don't really know much about Hoffman, but I found the story very amusing myself.

      Eh. I think AH was a really sharp and entertaining dude, but the irony everyone thinks they see there, isn't actually there. Hoffman was making a political statement, that stock trading was just a bunch of money grubbing. Really, those schulbs working the floor trading all those stocks were trading for other people. They weren't all millionaire stock holders. There's no irony behind a $8K/yr floor trader who lives in a fifth floor walk-up studio apartment grabbing at dollar bills in 1967. Five bucks in 1967 was a month of lunches at the hot dog cart outside.
      • Really, those schulbs working the floor trading all those stocks were trading for other people. They weren't all millionaire stock holders. There's no irony behind a $8K/yr floor trader who lives in a fifth floor walk-up studio apartment grabbing at dollar bills in 1967. Five bucks in 1967 was a month of lunches at the hot dog cart outside.

        Do you have some sources for that? 8K/year? I get that as about $48K/year adjusted for inflation. Of course they're not the millionaire tycoons themselves, but surely the stockholders wouldn't want to trust deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and more to people who weren't highly skilled and thus paid commensurately.

        • Do you have some sources for that? 8K/year? I get that as about $48K/year adjusted for inflation. Of course they're not the millionaire tycoons themselves, but surely the stockholders wouldn't want to trust deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and more to people who weren't highly skilled and thus paid commensurately.

          Not-really-related-question: Was the economy different enough back then that somebody making $48k/equiv. could, for example, buy a house?

          I'm just asking. I'm under the impression that inflation doesn't always coincide with cost of living.

          • by catxk (1086945)

            I'm just asking. I'm under the impression that inflation doesn't always coincide with cost of living.
            It does. Otherwise there's something wrong with the inflation measurement method being used.
          • by pla (258480)
            Was the economy different enough back then that somebody making $48k/equiv. could, for example, buy a house?

            I make in that range now, and can afford really quite a nice house in my area, on land measured in "acres" rather than square feet, with a 20% downpayment (so no playing along with the PMI scam!) and basically optimal terms on a 15-year note.

            I won't call myself "upper" middle class, but if you'd sneeze at $48k, get the hell out of the cities - Better for your wallet, your health, and your soul.
            • I second you comment. I've known far too many people who left the local area to work somewhere that paid 50% more just for the extra money, but the cost of living in that area was 2 or 3 times more there. These are college graduates that took a cut in their standard of living simply for more money. I mean, these are supposed to be smart people, but what the heck? Is this common outside of America too?
              • I second you comment. I've known far too many people who left the local area to work somewhere that paid 50% more just for the extra money, but the cost of living in that area was 2 or 3 times more there. These are college graduates that took a cut in their standard of living simply for more money. I mean, these are supposed to be smart people, but what the heck? Is this common outside of America too?

                Not saying that a big house and fresh air aren't worth having, but many people also consider convenient access to things like world class music, art, dining, sporting events, shopping, etc. that tends to be located in major cities is a pretty nice perk.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rfunches (800928)

        Specialists (the people who help match buyers and sellers in floor trading) can make seven figures [ibtimes.com] and the average salary of a securities industry worker in NYC is nearly $300k [64.233.169.104].

        • by hughk (248126)

          A specialist actually has to provide liquidity, which means they are under obligation to always be able to quote a stock (for buy or sell) where they are specializing within a specified time and the quote must remain valid for a set period of time. For this, you take on a whole lot of risk. To a certain extent, the issuers help you out as a liquidity provider

          In any case there is a huge spread within the securities industry with the outriders like certain heads of desks making up to $20M in one year but mos

    • by locokamil (850008)
      It sounds terrifying: FIX hacking in financial systems. The problem is that it assumes that this information goes over the public internet. In almost 99 out of a 100 cases, this isn't the case. If a company can afford to directly deal with a stock exchange, it can most certainly afford a private line into the stock exchange, thus doing away with the hullabaloo over session hijacking and malicious interception.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hughk (248126)

        I know more than a little about this. Traditionally exchange members have used leased data circuits between them and the exchange. This gives predictable performance, particularly around price delivery and execution time. However leased circuits remain expensive. These days an institution tends to be a member of multiple exchanges. They will continue to use circuits for the markets where they execute at high volume but for other markets they may typically use an Internet connection and FIX. The older exchan

        • by locokamil (850008)
          Good point. My background is with larger financial firms, so I may be slightly (read: very) blinkered when it comes to the problems facing smaller companies.

          That said, it seems to me though that the problems with FIX can be made to go away by just mandating that all transaction occur over a VPN or SSH. It's better than nothing, costs little or nothing, and will probably get rid of these kinds of alarmist year-end stories.
          • by hughk (248126)
            I am a consultant. I get to work with very big banks as well as much smaller ones and with brokers. Generally the word "Bank" means strong processes and a general respect for the idea that as they sit on other people's money they should behave accordingly. Brokers don't take deposits so there is less control and an eye on costs. The biggest problem seems to happen in a brokerage that has been acquired by a bank. They have loose controls (the business prefers "flexibility and low infrastructure costs") and n
  • by ricebowl (999467) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:18PM (#21889694)

    "Nothing was sacred to hackers in '07 -- not cars, not truckers..."

    Somebody hacked a trucker? Holy hell...I hope never to see that one documented Hackaday [hackaday.com].

  • 3. Eighteen-wheelers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:25PM (#21889744)
    when i drove an 18 wheeler i hauled a some very expensive loads, once i picked up a load of Macintosh computers from Apple's Sacramento's warehouse and hauled them to Omaha Nebraska, another time i picked up wine (the kind you can drink) in several locations in northern California and hauled them to Little Rock Arkansas, thats just two examples, the Macs were the most expensive, (i bet there were close to half a million dollars worth of freight in Macs) when Apple was loading those Macs they told me to only stop at well lighted truck stops & stay away from roadside rest areas and given me a designated route along with the bill of lading...
    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:35PM (#21889808) Homepage Journal

      told me to only stop at well lighted truck stops & stay away from roadside rest areas

      You would think that for half a million dollars they would pay someone to follow you and take care of the load.

      given me a designated route

      Ahh maybe they did.

      • by FudRucker (866063)
        RE:["You would think that for half a million dollars they would pay someone to follow you and take care of the load."]

        i would not doubt it, at the time i was not looking for anyone following, with that kind of value in merchandise i could understand if they did, people have been killed for far less...
        • i would not doubt it, at the time i was not looking for anyone following, with that kind of value in merchandise i could understand if they did, people have been killed for far less...
          You didn't notice me taking care of that roadgang, didn't hear the chainguns and explosions? Damn you're not easly waken are you? Well, good work never gets noticed if you're a corporate ninja.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lufo (949075)
      When my flatmate bought his new iMac, they told him they really didn't know the date the truck would be ready for delivery, because Apple didn't tell even them (the store staff) the exact date the truck was arriving.
    • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:04PM (#21890038) Journal

      Former long-haul Big Truck driver here, too (I still drive one locally on occasion), and I often carried high-value loads. One time I hauled a load of cell phones from Texas to California and Motorola paid to have a pair of former FBI agents in a black Lincoln Towncar tail me the entire way. I was driving as part of a team then so there were no stops except for fuel. I was put off by the idea it at first--what, you don't trust me?--but after a while, it made me feel safe. That long stretch of two-lane between Ft. Worth and Amarillo seems pretty remote at 0200...

    • $500k seems a little low for an entire load of Apple products.

      Even at a single level deep, (no stacking), you could get about 300 iMacs on a trailer. Call it 15 wide and about 20 deep. If it was laptops, this would be higher - call it 20 wide and 25 deep, for 500 total. Call it a mix of both and we get about 400 units. If we call it an average of $1k each, this is already $400k. Since the lowest retail on these products is about $1k, I figure calling the average value $1k is close enough.

      Now, if we s

      • by The One and Only (691315) * <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:43PM (#21890324) Homepage
        Sure, but think about risk management. It may not be the smartest option to have a 1 million dollar truck driving around when you could have 2 500,000 dollar trucks taking different routes in case one gets ambushed by the mafia.
      • Don't forget Apple's 50% margin - so 1M retail worth of Apple hardware is actually worth 1/2M to apple
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        $500k seems a little low for an entire load of Apple products.

        Ah, but the OP didn't tell us *when* he drove trucks. For all we know, that could've been 20 years ago. Or maybe even 10.

        In the past 3 or 4 years has Apple actually dramatically reduced the size of packaging. A PowerBook would consume the same space as a PS3 box these days. An iMac was a fairly large box - think 2'x2'x2' at the minimum, as we're only going back 10 years. I can feasibly see that it it could potentially consume the entire trailer.

    • by hughk (248126)
      Small items that can be readily resold are readily targetable. Of corse, the real value would be to hijack a load of CPU chips, preferably in OEM rather than retail packaging. Certainly a higher value by weight than gold and generally not so well protected. I seem to remember that there were alerts about certain CPU serial numbers before that came from hijacked loads.
    • another time i picked up wine (the kind you can drink)

      Only on Slashdot do you need to to qualify the word "wine" in that manner!

    • by TheLink (130905)
      Macintosh computers aren't what I call very expensive loads.

      If I were a trucker driving a full load of Intel processors from the factory to the airport then I might be a bit nervous ;).

      I've heard cases where somehow trucks get hijacked ( allegedly ;) ) even in rather short
      journeys from the factory to the airport.
  • Number one is FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:36PM (#21889814) Homepage

    RDS-TMC provides broadcasts on traffic conditions, accidents, and detours for the driver. It's main weakness: It doesn't authenticate where the traffic comes from, the researchers say. That leaves the door wide open for a bad guy to reroute drivers to a detour, or to overwhelm it with a DDOS, killing the navigation system as well as its climate-control system and stereo. [...] There's not much you can do until it's too late and your AC and stereo are out, and you're sitting on a hot and dusty, deserted road nowhere near Starbucks.

    Uhm, bullshit. The worst this attack can do is to either

    1. shut the electronics down completely — in which case you'll know, something is wrong long before the last Starbucks is out of sight
    2. fool your GPS into believing, there is some sort of interference (accident, jam) ahead, which will simply cause the device to pick an alternate (and sub-optimal) route. You will not be lost, you'll just arrive later.

    In neither case does Kelly's mother need to be concerned with "how a hacker could redirect her brand-new car navigation system to a deserted dead end street far from her intended destination." For that one needs to be able to pretend to be a group of satellites. This possibility the article does not cover — either due to the (mentioned) lack of imagination (on behalf of the author itself), or because it is not really possible (because Pentagon's designers of the system thought about it first, maybe).

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by ricebowl (999467)

      ...because [the] Pentagon's designers of the system thought about it first, maybe...

      You must be new here...

      Yeah, I saw your user-id...it's just I've been wanting to use that meme myself for so long...Since I was a little boy...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918)

      shut the electronics down completely in which case you'll know, something is wrong long before the last Starbucks is out of sight

      Better have a diesel engine in this case. Nothing electric to be hacked.
      • Re:Number one is FUD (Score:5, Informative)

        by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:16PM (#21890146) Journal

        Better have a diesel engine in this case. Nothing electric to be hacked.

        Actually, modern diesels are as computer-driven as gasoline engines. Maybe even more so in the case of large trucks--on every 18-wheeler I've driven in the past ten years, there was no physical linkage between the accelerator pedal ("the hammer," in trucker's lingo) and the engine. Instead, there was a digital position sensor and a multi-conductor cable that fed data to the ECU. All the gauges on the instrument panel were computer-controlled as well.

      • by bhtooefr (649901)
        A 1980's diesel. Modern diesels have just as much electronics as modern gasoline engines.
        • by bgat (123664)
          Probably more, actually.

          Many gasoline engines have only one fuel injector that services the whole engine, while diesels have one or more fuel injectors _per cylinder_. On top of that, diesels are more complex to control for efficiency and cleanliness than gasoline ones (babysitting the turbocharger, etc.), so there's more calculation involved per cylinder stroke as well.

          • by bhtooefr (649901)
            Actually, not even GM has had a single fuel injector (throttle body injection) for a few years now in North America.

            It's all port injection. Either that, or gasoline direct injection, which is more complex than a diesel, because you've got to do everything the diesel has to do (except babysit the turbo - and many gasoline direct injection engines DO have turbos), AND maintain the mixture even fuel mixture even tighter than the diesel, AND run the ignition system (which the diesel doesn't have.)
            • by Dare nMc (468959)
              Thing that are more difficult for diesels:
              1) You don't have a nice easy feedback of a O2 sensor.
              2) Gas engine is controlled by air flow into the engine. So basically you just watch the MAF sensor, and RPM, and have a lookup table that tells how much fuel to inject, adjust slightly based on the O2 sensor (if a emission vehicle). Diesel needs to know RPM, and boost, and Throttle position to try and get to where the driver wants to be. You only have to control fuel, but you can only control fuel (and maybe
      • by Dun Malg (230075)

        Better have a diesel engine in this case. Nothing electric to be hacked.
        Are you just repeating something someone once told you, or was the last diesel engine you looked at 20 years old? You ever seen the control system for a Volkswagen TDi Diesel? It's non trivial, and very electronic. Modern automotive diesel engines are a lot more complicated than they used to be.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ColdSam (884768)

      fool your GPS into believing, there is some sort of interference (accident, jam) ahead, which will simply cause the device to pick an alternate (and sub-optimal) route. You will not be lost, you'll just arrive later.

      Why is it infeasible to insert a bogus traffic delay designed to divert drivers off a main highway in a remote area so the cars could easily be jacked? If there are 4 guys with guns waiting at a stop sign because you got off the interstate, I'd say that new route is pretty darn sub-optimal.

    • Let me give you a "crash course" in how in car navigation systems function. All GPS does is use the relative arrival time of a number of satellite transmissions to compute a latitude and longitude. Once the in car navigation system has the latitude and longitude, it can look up a map on it's internal database (remember those map packages that you have to buy) and display a map. Once the unit knows where you are and where you want to go, it can compute a course. The RDS (radio data system) system is what
      • by mi (197448)

        This hack works by broadcasting spoofed RDS-TMC data from a low power transmitter.

        Excellent. Now explain, how the hack can cause the system do drive you to a deserted dead end.

        • That's easy. Pick a road that's closed for repairs, and spoof that it's open.
          • by mi (197448)

            That's easy. Pick a road that's closed for repairs, and spoof that it's open.

            No, you can only spoof a closure, not openness.

  • by YU5333021 (1093141) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:05PM (#21890052) Homepage
    No.1 hack for 2008 will be the new electronic passports as discussed in the previous Slashdot discussion.

    No.2 will be the the voting machines, but that only gets a second place because it's a dupe from 4 years ago.

    No.3 will be the poor truckers again. We should really revert back from robotic drivers.

    and No.4 will be slashdot's grammar and spelling checking engine, although this will be done in a fairly low-tech manner. The ten submission monkeys will be poisoned and their typewriters tinkered with...
  • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:11PM (#21890100)
    I personally have to smirk at the Apple brigade who on one hand spent the year touting everything Apple as more secure, and on the other hand rushed to jailbreak their iPhones by simply viewing a web page embedding a malformed image.
    • Damn right, given that Safari is a relatively conservative browser in terms of feature. IE 7.0 supports loads of crazy stuff like ActiveX but it's actually doing quite well in terms of vulnerabilities. And it runs in a jail like special low privilege process too now, so exploits are harder to actually exploit.

      Mind you, I still use Opera on Windows, since it is conservative feature wise, has fewer unfixed vulnerabilities than IE or FF, and is a less interesting target due to its low market share. Though I do
      • You know, there's a "protected mode" -like thing in xp too, it goes like this:

        Make sure "Secondary Logon" (service) is enabled.
        Create a shortcut to whatever app you'd like to jail.
        Go to the shortcut's properties, "Advanced..."
        Tick on "Run with different credentials"
        OK OK
        When you run the program through the shortcut, it will prompt you whether to run the program as yourself but with significantly reduced permissions (default) or as another user (useful to run programs as Administrator if you're not).

        You can
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:53PM (#21890394)
    "... built tools for hacking satellite-based navigation systems that use Radio Data System-Traffic Message Channel (RDS-TMC) to receive traffic broadcasts and emergency messages ... The researchers tested their hardware and software tools with a one- to five-kilometer radius of the targeted vehicles, but they say an attacker could target a specific vehicle by adding a directional antenna, for instance ..."

    I think I'm going to invest some effort in this, and build a system that allows me to send messages to the NAV display of other vehicles to say things like:

    "Pull the fuck out of the fast lane jackass."

    or

    "Turn your goddamned high beams off you stupid sack of shit."
  • RDS-TMC, which provides broadcasts (traffic conditions, accidents, etc.) is nothing new. Radar detectors have had "safety alerts" (emergency vehicles, road hazards, and trains) for years. It's the same technololgy. The difference is that the goverment organizations didn't support the feature in radar detectors (used by law breakers) but then supported the feature in navigational systems (used by honest folks).

    There was never any authentication of the "safety alerts". I suppose anyone could play some tri
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Spotted in Sydney and posted to youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECoA8pi9Rmk [youtube.com]

    A road-side advisory sign.
  • by Viceroy Potatohead (954845) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @12:50AM (#21891138) Homepage
    I don't know if the EPCs would be encrypted, but I seriously doubt it. Anyone know? Because if they're not, I'd hardly consider that a hack. They were broadcasting their information unencrypted. Reading it is no more of a hack, in that situation, than turning on your radio. DIY, homebrew, sure. But not a hack. If the EPCs were encrypted, that's different, but it probably wouldn't make any sense to do so. Making your electronic barcodes secret strikes me as kind of silly.

    On a side note, I have compiled a list of the most uncool hacks since 2003. Here is my list:

    1. Nickelback.
    • Encryption would not help protect EPC from fraudulent messages. Safeguarding against fraudulent messages is a problem in authenticity (is the message from an authoritative source?) and integrity (am I receiving the message that was sent, without modification?) and not a problem in confidentiality.

      Encryption provides confidentiality protection, not integrity or authenticity. (Yes, MACs can be used for integrity protection, but a MAC doesn't encrypt the message, it just uses an encryption algorithm to provid

  • I think the Wii whiteboard hack and the Wii head tracking hack [cmu.edu] are loads cooler than anything on the list. ...Of course there's no "CrackNotHack" tag on the story, so no wonder.
  • I just got my first car with OBD2 (yes, it's been a while) and it says right in the manual that it records about 60 seconds of driving information that can be used against me in the case of an accident whether I give permission or not. I want a hack that automatically erases that information in the event of a button push or airbag deployment. That's complete crap if you ask me...

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