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Hackers Hack Through Car Navigation Systems

Security specialist duos have found a method of inserting a few funny and some scary fake messages into the car satellite navigation (sat-nav) systems.

Scientists from the engineering company Inverse Path succeeded in transmitting messages on themes varying from weather bulletins to caveats on hacker incursions into their personal satnav system through the common radio data system (RDS).

"We can cause queues, inclemency, jam-packed parking lots, congested service areas, mishaps, roadwork and much more," Andrea Barisani, the security firm Inverse Path's chief security engineer, informs ZDNet Asia on April 23, 2007. "Traffic data shown on satellite navigation systems is relied by drivers. Ordinary people do not believe that you can perpetrate spitefulness."

Barisani and hardware attacker Daniele Bianco detected that the system employed by various navigation helps to obtain traffic information isn't protected. The information is conveyed via the Traffic Message Channel (TMC) of the Radio Data System (RDS), a typical method of channeling information over FM radio, that's also utilized to show the names of stations along with program names.

The cyber-terrorists authored a software to decrypt the RDS information. "From what we understand it is the first source code device that endeavors to decipher RDS data completely," Barisani stated. After that they understood the method of producing their personal TMC messages and transmit those via an RDS encoder, an FM transmitter (personal audio device), an aerial and several other devices.

The scientists exhibited this potential so as to circulate consciousness that this kind of attack could occur malevolently. Barisani exhorts satnav clients that if they suddenly notice a disturbing message on their instruments, "don't lose your nerve straightaway, pay attention to the radio news to check".

A cyber-terrorist could blur a present station, such as the man-in-the-middle attack, to convey whatever they desire. Or else, a cyber-terrorist could also broadcast over an inactive channel, he alleged.

It is difficult for clients to enhance Satnav systems that are incorporated into cars, so Barisani doesn't presume that the makers can bring about any modifications that may stop this kind of infringement. However, he wishes that upcoming norms might tackle the problem.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

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