It looks like a Belgian and Israeli Research team has found a way to break the immobilizer system in many major car companies ECU’s. In the press release, the team mentions they have discovered a way to decipher the code the ECU uses to authenticate chip keys, taking as little as a day to decipher the code. They claim to be able to uncover the key after only an hour of exposure to the remote control attached to the key. A Link to the Presentation can be found here.
This is pretty big news for the home tuning crowd. A major setback in reverse engineering obd-2 ecu’s has been the immobilizer and the presence of an encrypted data bus. If this attack proves useful, reverse engineers may be able to crack these devices and pave the way for developers to enable the modification of the ecu in newer cars. This movement has been going on for some time in the Honda tuning scene, where websites like http://forum.pgmfi.org have sprung up as a resource for developers interested in Honda Ecu’s. If you are interested in ECU development, be sure to check out the How-To section here on mycomputerninja.com for details on how to modify obd-0 Honda ecu’s.