Over on YouTube David Bombal has uploaded a video titled "Warning! This is how cars are hacked. Just like in Mr Robot." which explains how the car hacking scenes in Mr Robot worked. Mr Robot is a TV drama series about cybersecurity hackers, and it is known for portraying realistic hacks and scenarios. Back in 2019 we posted about an episode where they used a HackRF and Raspberry Pi to jam a garage door, before using the HackRF as an IMSI catcher. RTL-SDRs were also briefly used in some episodes.
David's video goes into greater detail about how realistic the hacking concepts displayed in the Mr Robot series are and if they would work in real time. In this video he goes into particular detail about car hacking. He uses a HackRF and RTL-SDR and demonstrates attacks like jamming, and signal replay.
This video is a part of a series exploring the hacks shown on Mr Robot. The full playlist can be found here.
Warning! This is how cars are hacked. Just like in Mr Robot.
A few readers have written in to let us know the role SDRs played in the last season of "Mr. Robot". The show which is available on Amazon Prime is about "Mr. Robot", a young cyber-security engineer by day and a vigilante hacker by night. The show has actual cyber security experts on the team, so whilst still embellished for drama, the hacks performed in the show are fairly accurate, at least when compared to other TV shows.
Spoilers of the technical SDR hacks performed in the show are described below, but no story is revealed.
In the recently aired season 4 episode 9, a character uses a smartphone running an SSH connection to connect to a HackRF running on a Raspberry Pi. The HackRF is then used to jam a garage door keyfob operating at 315 MHz, thus preventing people from leaving a parking lot.
Shortly after she can be seen using the HackRF again with Simple IMSI Catcher. Presumably they were running a fake cellphone basestation as they use the IMSI information to try and determine someones phone number which leads to being able to hack their text messages. The SDR used in the fake basestation appears to have been a bladeRF.
In season 4 episode 4 GQRX and Audacity can be seen on screen being used to monitor a wiretap via rtl_tcp and an E4000 RTL-SDR dongle.
Did we miss any other instances of SDRs being used in the show? Or have you seen SDRs in use on other TV shows? Let us know in the comments.