Sunday 4 December 2016

Emergency Authority: Easy to Hack Norwegian DAB Radio.

Picture: Oppland Arbeiderblad 
Connected to the car network via in-car radio hackers are able to manipulate crucial vehicle functions
The Norwegian Civil Contingencies Agency (DSB) are sounding the alarm about units in DAB networks can be vulnerable to hacker attacks. Information indicates that it will be relatively easy to produce your own DAB transmitter that can be used to send malicious code to car radios. As DAB radio often is connected to the rest of the vehicle internal network, a hacker can to put key features out of order, said in the report now submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

NCC Group has tested whether it is possible to hack a car via DAB radio. It managed to partially take control of the vehicle's brakes via the DAB network.

Norway is a thoroughly digitized society. Therefore it is important to understand the risks before the technology is rolled out, says the head of DSB. If it is possible to hack, the consequences will be extensive and serious. A hack can disrupt signals for the entire population. DSB recommended that the problems should be further investigated.

Nils Sødal, communications advisor in the motorist organisation NAF, is worried by the statements. If there is a concern of the DSB, it should be followed up. A modern car is a rolling computer. If someone can find a way into it via DAB radio, it can be dramatic.

Einar Otto Stangvik, security analyst at the daily newspaper VG, says there are many paths to a modern car, and DAB radio can be one of them. A security breach is not in a DAB radio as such, but it is how automakers connect the radio to the rest of the car.

According to Norkring, which owns and operates the nationwide DAB network in Norway, it is theoretically possible but not very likely that someone can hack a DAB network, writes NRK News.

The problems with the DAB network could be hacked was put to attention already in June 2015 in the UK. 

DSB's report comes a few days before the parliament on Dec. 6 will debate and decide on the possible postponement or cancellation of the Norwegian FM closure plan. 

In the report, the DSB says that the DAB network otherwise meet contingency requirements. However, remaining are questions about the security and contingency problems as the DAB network has a significant less coverage at sea and in mountain areas. In the report DSB is  also questioning why a sufficient sea coverage has not been a government requirement before setting up the DAB network.

Read more (in Norwegian)

Download the report (in Norwegian)

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