Tagged: yardstick one

Stealing a Tesla Model S in Seconds by Cloning its Wireless Keyfob

Recently wired.com ran a story that explains how research hackers from KU Leuven university in Belgium have been able to clone a Tesla car key fob within seconds. With the cloned keyfob they are then able to open the Tesla's door, start the motors and drive away. The researchers believe this attack could also work on cars sold by McLaren and Karma, as well as Triumph motorcycles.

Like most automotive keyless entry systems, Tesla Model S key fobs send an encrypted code, based on a secret cryptographic key, to a car's radios to trigger it to unlock and disable its immobilizer, allowing the car's engine to start. After nine months of on-and-off reverse engineering work, the KU Leuven team discovered in the summer of 2017 that the Tesla Model S keyless entry system, built by a manufacturer called Pektron, used only a weak 40-bit cipher to encrypt those key fob codes.

The researchers found that once they gained two codes from any given key fob, they could simply try every possible cryptographic key until they found the one that unlocked the car. They then computed all the possible keys for any combination of code pairs to create a massive, 6-terabyte table of pre-computed keys. With that table and those two codes, the hackers say they can look up the correct cryptographic key to spoof any key fob in just 1.6 seconds.

The attack hardware consists of a Yardstick One dongle, a Proxmark RFID/NFC radio, and a Raspberry Pi connected to the 6TB hard drive containing the database of pre-computed keys. All together the cost of such a system is under $600.

The actual attack works by first bringing the RFID antenna and radio near the car and recording vehicles identifier code which is periodically transmitted by the car. Then the antenna is brought near to the owners keyfob and impersonates the car using the identifier code. This tricks the keyfob into sending out encrypted response codes which are then decrypted by the 6TB lookup table on the hard drive. The Yardstick One is then used to transmit the final unlock code at 433.92 MHz.

Tesla have since responded by noting that cars sold after June 2018 have improved encryption and aren't vulnerable to this attack, and that owners of cars manufactured earlier are able to enable an option that requires a PIN code to be entered. Owners could also take extra precautions such as using an RFID blocking pouch. Tesla vehicles also have built in GPS tracking which may deter thieves.

The video below shows the attack in action, and a short overview paper by the researchers can be found here.

COSIC researchers hack Tesla Model S key fob

Explaining and Demonstrating Jam and Replay Attacks on Keyless Entry Systems with RTL-SDR, RPiTX and a Yardstick One

Thank you to Christopher for submitting to us an article that he's written for a project of his that demonstrates how vulnerable vehicle keyless entry systems are to jam and replay attacks. In the article he explains what a jam and replay attack is, the different types of keyless entry security protocols, and how an attack can be performed with low cost off the shelf hardware. He explains a jam and replay attack as follows:

The attacker utilises a device with full-duplex RF capabilities (simultaneous transmit and receive) to produce a jamming signal, in order to prevent the car from receiving the valid code from the key fob. This is possible as RKEs are often designed with a receive band that is wider than the bandwidth of the key fob signal (refer Figure 3, right). The device simultaneously intercepts the rolling code by using a tighter receive band, and stores it for later use. When the user presses the key fob again, the device captures the second code, and transmits the first code, so that the user’s required action is performed (lock or unlock) (Kamkar, 2015). This results in the attacker possessing the next valid rolling code, providing them with access to the vehicle. The process can be repeated indefinitely by placing the device in the vicinity of the car. Note that if the user unlocks the car using the mechanical key after the first try, the second code capture is not required, and the first code can be used to unlock the vehicle.

In his demonstrating the attack he uses the RTL-SDR to initially find the frequency that they keyfob operates at and to analyze the signal and determine some of it's properties. He then uses a Raspberry Pi running RPiTX to generate a jamming signal, and the YardStick One to capture and replay the car keyfob signal.

Jam and Replay Hardware: Raspberry Pi running RpiTX for the Jamming and a Yardstick One for Capture and Replay.
Jam and Replay Hardware: Raspberry Pi running RpiTX for the Jamming and a Yardstick One for Capture and Replay.

DailyMail Article about the YARD Stick One

Back in May of this year the DailyMail ran an article discussing how the HackRF by Great Scott Gadgets could be used to break into cars. The DailyMail is a British tabloid magazine well known for its low credibility and alarmist articles. This week they ran a new article about Great Scott Gadgets other product, the Yard Stick One. In the article they discuss how the £109 Yard Stick One tool can be used to disable wireless burglar alarms. The YARD Stick One is not an SDR, but rather a computer controlled radio which can be used to transmit and receive wireless digital signals below 1 GHz. It is useful for wireless security research and reverse engineering digital signals in a way that is a bit easier than with using an SDR like the HackRF.

In the experiment performed in the article they use the YARD Stick one to jam a wireless home alarm for a few seconds allowing entry to the property without setting off the alarm. All in all the article is a good advert for the YARD Stick One, and does do a decent job at drawing attention to the lack of security provided by many wireless security devices.

DailyMail shows how a YS1 can be used to jam a wireless burglar alarm.
DailyMail shows how a YS1 can be used to jam a wireless burglar alarm.

The PandwaRF RF Analysis Tool

Recently we heard about the PandwaRF Portable Analyzer (previously known as the GollumRF). This is not an SDR, but can probably be described as a programmable and computer controlled radio. It appears to be based on the Yardstick One design which is made by Micheal Ossmann, the creator of the HackRF. Both the Yardstick One and PandwaRF are based on the CC1111 sub-1 GHz RF transceiver chip. These types of pseudo-sdr’s can be very useful for reverse engineerin, analyzing and experimenting with simple digital signals.

For example it could be used to capture data from any ASK/OOK/MSK/2-FSK/GFSK modulation in the 300 – 928 MHz band. You can then easily analyze the data, and the restransmit the same or a modified signal. The same could be done with a TX capable SDR like the HackRF, but doing so tends to require a lot more work.

The difference between the Yardstick One and PandwaRF appears to be mainly in the connection interface. The PandwaRF is essentially the Yardstick One with a Bluetooth LE connectivity and an Android/iOS smartphone app. USB connectivity for Linux still exists. It also has an internal battery whereas the Yardstick One does not. They wrote a post comparing the RTL-SDR, Yardstick One and PandwaRF here.

The device seems to be new, as it just starting shipping in November and the first batch is still being sold. It costs 145 euros and appears to originate from the EU. There is also a ‘mini’ version in pre-order which also costs 145 euros. In comparison the Yardstick One costs about $99 – $145 USD depending on the shop you choose.

The PandwaRF
The PandwaRF
PandwaRF Android App
PandwaRF Android App

Talk by Micheal Ossmann at Toorcon 2015: Rapid Radio Reversing

Toorcon is a yearly conference that focusus on information security related topics. At the 2015 Toorcon conference Micheal Ossmann (inventor of the HackRF SDR) gave an interesting talk about reverse engineering wireless systems using software defined radio.

Back in November Micheal gave a bit of a quick tutorial on reverse engineering in a November edition of the YouTube web series Hak5. Now his full conference talk has been released over on his website. In his talk he uses a HackRF and a Yardstick One to show how to reverse engineer a wireless cabinet lock.

The video can be viewed below or over on Micheal’s site greatscottgadgets.

Hak5: Reverse Engineering Radio Protocols with SDR and the Yardstick One

Over on YouTube the popular security and hacking themed channel Hak5 have created two videos together with Mike Ossmann (creator of the HackRF and Yardstick One) that give a good introduction and overview on reverse engineering unknown radio protocols. In the video they show how to use a SDR like the RTL-SDR or HackRF to initially capture the radio signal, and then how to use the Yardstick One to reverse engineer and recreate the signal. Using this process they reverse engineer the radio protocol for a wireless liquor cabinet lock.

The Yardstick One is a computer controlled wireless transceiver (but it is not an SDR). The Yardstick One understands many radio protocols by default and can be programmed in Python, lowering the learning barrier for reverse engineering signals.

Mike Ossmann has also been slowly releasing very detailed video tutorials about DSP and radio related topics. If you are interested in reverse engineering radio signals it is a very helpful series to watch.

Radio Hacking: Reverse Engineering Protocols Part 1 – Hak5 1913
Radio Hacking: Reverse Engineering Protocols Part 2 – Hak5 1914

Hak5: Hacking Wireless Doorbells and Software Defined Radio tips

On this weeks episode of Hak5, a popular electronics and hacking YouTube show, the presenters talk about reverse engineering and performing replay attacks on wireless devices such as a doorbell. They also talk about using the recently released Yardstick One which is a PC controlled wireless transceiver that understands multiple modulation techniques (ASK, OOK, GFSK, 2-FSK, 4-FSK, MSK) and works on multiple bands (300-348 MHz, 391-464 MHz, and 782-928 MHz), but is not a software defined radio.

Finally they discuss how to use the RTL-SDR and GQRX to stream received audio over a UDP network connection using netcat in Linux.

Hacking Wireless Doorbells and Software Defined Radio tips – Hak5 1910

If you are interested in the Yardstick one, Hak5 also uploaded two earlier episodes this month showing how to use the Yardstick one, and how to hack wireless remotes by using the RTL-SDR to do the initial reverse engineering, and then using the Yarstick One to do the transmitting.

How to begin hacking with the YARD Stick One – Hak5 1908
How to Hack Wireless Remotes with Radio Replay Attacks – Hak5 1909