Honda key fob flaw lets hackers remotely unlock and start cars

Safety scientists have exposed a vulnerability in Honda’s keyless entry program that could allow for hackers to remotely unlock and get started probably “all Honda motor vehicles at present present on the industry.”

The “Rolling-Pwn” attack, uncovered by Star-V Lab security researchers Kevin2600 and Wesley Li, exploits a vulnerability in the way Honda’s keyless entry procedure transmits authentication codes between the car or truck and the vital fob. It operates in a identical way to the not long ago identified Bluetooth replay assault affecting some Tesla automobiles utilizing easily purchasable radio machines, the scientists had been equipped to eavesdrop and capture the codes, then broadcast them back to the vehicle in purchase to acquire obtain.

This permitted the researchers to remotely unlock and start out the engines of autos afflicted by the vulnerability, which involves designs from as significantly back again as 2012 and as recent as 2022. But in accordance to The Generate, which independently examined and confirmed the vulnerability on a Honda Accord 2021, the key fob flaw would not allow an attacker to drive off with the car or truck.

As observed by the researchers, this form of attack should really be prevented by the vehicle’s rolling codes system — a technique released to avert replay attacks by giving a new code for each individual authentication of a remote keyless entry. Motor vehicles have a counter that checks the chronology of the created codes, escalating the count when it gets a new code.

Kevin2600 and Wesley Li found that the counter in Honda cars is resynchronized when the car motor vehicle receives lock and unlock instructions in a consecutive sequence, leading to the car or truck to take codes from past classes that should really have been invalidated.

“By sending the instructions in a consecutive sequence to the Honda autos, it will be resynchronizing the counter,” the scientists write. “Once counter resynced, commands from the past cycle of the counter worked yet again. Thus, people commands can be utilized later to unlock the automobile at will.”

The researchers say they examined their attack on quite a few Honda types, which include the Honda Civic 2012, Honda Accord 2020, and Honda In good shape 2022, but warn that the protection vulnerability could influence “all Honda automobiles currently existing on the current market” and may perhaps also have an affect on other manufacturers’ cars.

The safety scientists say they attempted to get hold of Honda about the vulnerability but identified that the enterprise “does not have a division to deal with stability-related problems for their products.” As this sort of, they reported the problem to Honda client company but have not yet gained a reaction.

TechCrunch also did not obtain a reaction from Honda, but in a statement to The Drive, the business insisted that the technologies in its key fobs “would not make it possible for the vulnerability as represented in the report.”

“We’ve seemed into previous very similar allegations and located them to absence compound,” a Honda spokesperson claimed. “Though we don’t nevertheless have adequate facts to figure out if this report is credible, the essential fobs in the referenced motor vehicles are equipped with rolling code technologies that would not let the vulnerability as represented in the report. In addition, the video clips provided as evidence of the absence of rolling code do not include sufficient proof to help the claims.”

As noted by the protection scientists, if Honda was to accept the flaw, fixing it would be tough owing to the reality that older cars don’t support around-the-air (OTA) updates. Worryingly, the scientists also warned there’s no way to guard from the hack and no way to establish if it happened to you.

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