I don't want you to inject viruses to the car with your internet cable!

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tibcab

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Hi guys,

I though this would be the place for my little experience, do not hesitate to move it to a more appropriate section if needed.

I went to see a car I was interested in the other day, a fully equipped A6 4F Avant Quattro 3.2 FSI in Switzerland, not too many kilometers on it, but loads of options like AAS, AAC, MMI High, Electric tailgate, Memory seats, full black exterior package and so on. Not very impressive for the US drivers perhaps, but in Europe we quite rarely see options that account for one third of the original invoice amount, especially those kind of extras on a MY07. That also means that a lot of those modules can have errors in them...
So, as always, I was there with my laptop and my favorite HEX-CAN cable!

The car dealer shows me the car, I take a quick look around and then ask "do you mind if I run a scan of the error codes on the car"? And the guy goes "wow but what are you planning on using for that, do you have a Bosch tool"?
me : "No, it's my laptop and a diagnosis cable"
dealer : "I do not want you to connect that, what if you have a virus on your laptop, it will inject it to the Audi! The only tool for diagnosis I trust is Bosch, look I have one it's the only thing I put in my safe". And the guy shows me inside his safe, indeed only this green machine.
dealer : "This is worth more than 5000€, not like you cheap cable from internet, anyone can get one online for 50€"
me (puzzled) : "My cable is not a cheap thing from the internet, it is from a well known company called Ross Tech and use to cost something around 300€, don't tell me it's cheap!"

The car was still worth it so I arranged for a test drive. With my laptop bag around the shoulder. As soon as we were out of the yard, my passenger was opening the laptop and me plugging in the HEX-CAN :D

If you wonder, I did buy the car, the price was unbeatable and it return absolutely no errors :)

But man, was I pissed that this guy called my cable cheap!
 
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PetrolDave

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dealer : "I do not want you to connect that, what if you have a virus on your laptop, it will inject it to the Audi!"
Sounds like the dealer has been reading too many scare stories and doesn't understand the difference between a PC virus and some of the hacks that have been done to other manufacturers cars.

Presumably it's not an Audi dealer because they wouldn't use a Bosch diagnostic but a 'proper' VAG tool?
 
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Uwe

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too many scare stories
Well there was a set of "Researchers" at a University in eastern Europe who used a clone/pirate HEX+CAN with VCDS as a proof of concept for some malware that would silently disable airbags via the Adaptation channels in those modules. The approach they took was to do it with VCDS, log the traffic between VCDS and the HEX+CAN, and then have their malware replay that whenever the HEX+CAN was connected to a car. While this was never a problem in the wild, it became well-known enough via a YT video that we felt we had to address it, and the code required to prevent such replay attacks from working filled up most of the remaining space in the HEX+CAN....

-Uwe-
 

Uwe

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Can't beat the Swiss for paranoia.
Give their paranoia some credit though. When was the last time they were involved in a war? Nobody wants to mess with them! The old saying was: Switzerland doesn't HAVE an army. They ARE an army. :D

-Uwe-
 

iichel

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I think the Swiss easily top the Americans for weapon possession, since most of the Swiss men have been in the army and have some kind of firearm at home.

But then again, why bother invading Switzerland. What are you going to find? Lots of mountains. Some nice old cities. Some funny currency. A massive amount of speed cameras. And more mountains. Come on, who wants that?
 

Uwe

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I think the Swiss easily top the Americans for weapon possession,
Don't count on it.

why bother invading Switzerland. What are you going to find? Lots of mountains. Some nice old cities. Some funny currency. A massive amount of speed cameras. And more mountains. Come on, who wants that?
Gold in the bank vaults?

And those mountains are spectacularly beautiful. I mean if I was an evil overlord type, I would want a lair on one of those mountains! :D

-Uwe-
 

Jack@European_Parts

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volcano.jpg
 

tibcab

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Sounds like the dealer has been reading too many scare stories and doesn't understand the difference between a PC virus and some of the hacks that have been done to other manufacturers cars.

Presumably it's not an Audi dealer because they wouldn't use a Bosch diagnostic but a 'proper' VAG tool?

True, it was a very small shop with just a couple of cars for sale. When I saw the bosch tool I actually wondered why it costs so much, the size of the screen on it did not strike me as something capable of more than VCDS, quite the opposite actually.

Well there was a set of "Researchers" at a University in eastern Europe who used a clone/pirate HEX+CAN with VCDS as a proof of concept for some malware that would silently disable airbags via the Adaptation channels in those modules. The approach they took was to do it with VCDS, log the traffic between VCDS and the HEX+CAN, and then have their malware replay that whenever the HEX+CAN was connected to a car. While this was never a problem in the wild, it became well-known enough via a YT video that we felt we had to address it, and the code required to prevent such replay attacks from working filled up most of the remaining space in the HEX+CAN....

-Uwe-

Wow! I never thought something like that could have happened! Thanks for the story though, very interesting. It at least gives some sense to the dealer's paranoia.
 
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