The Risks Digest

The RISKS Digest

Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems

ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator

Volume 28 Issue 80

Wednesday 22 July 2015


Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It
Andy Greenberg
Remote Exploitation of an Unaltered Passenger Vehicle
Anthony Thorn
Re: Self-driving cars
Dan Geer
Blumenthal/Markey legislation on auto security
More Senators' websites untrusted—including Markey's
Henry Baker
Lufthansa flight has near-miss with drone near Warsaw
Re: Gun-Firing Drone Raises Some Eyebrows
Reign of terror: An online troll destroyes a family's offline life
Ex-Lottery Worker Convicted of Programming System To Win $14M
Werner U
OPM: China not to blame; all's fair
Ellen Nakashima via Henry Baker
RedStar OS Watermarking
Florian Grunow
Shocking way to stop terrorists/hackers/researchers/...
Henry Baker
Microsoft Will Remove Revenge Porn From Search Results
Pavithra Mohan
Why Deleting Personal Information On The Internet Is A Fool's Errand
Daniel Terdiman
Google Street View Exposes a Man Who Told His Wife He Quit Smoking
Limits at Gawker? Rules at Reddit? Wild West Web Turns a Page
3D-Printed Missiles
Shapeways via Henry Baker
Constitutional Malware
Jonathan Mayer
Info on RISKS (comp.risks)

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It (Andy Greenberg)

"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 9:09:48 PDT
Andy Greenberg, Security. *WiReD*, 21 Jul 2015 [noted by quite a few of you]

I was driving 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit
began to take hold.

Though I hadn't touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee
started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my
back through the in-seat climate control system. Next the radio switched to
the local hip hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. I spun
the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the
windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass.

As I tried to cope with all this, a picture of the two hackers performing
these stunts appeared on the car's digital display: Charlie Miller and Chris
Valasek, wearing their trademark track suits. A nice touch, I thought.

"The Jeep's strange behavior wasn't entirely unexpected. I'd come to
St. Louis to be Miller and Valasek's digital crash-test dummy, a willing
subject on whom they could test the car-hacking research they'd been doing
over the past year. The result of their work was ... a zero-day exploit
... that can target Jeep Cherokees and give the attacker wirele ss control,
via the Internet, to any of thousands of vehicles. Their code is an
automaker's nightmare: software that lets hackers send commands through the
Jeep's entertainment system to its dashboard functions, steering, brakes,
and transmission, all from a laptop that may be across the country."

Remote Exploitation of an Unaltered Passenger Vehicle

Anthony Thorn <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 09:42:16 +0200
Watch out for details of hacking via the Internet, obtaining control of:
brakes, accelerator, door-locking, air conditioning, wipers, steering
(only in reverse gear,-) and location.

Black Hat  presentation by Charlie Miller  &  Chris Valasek:
Remote Exploitation of an Unaltered Passenger Vehicle

...In this talk, we will show the reality of car hacking by demonstrating
exactly how a remote attack works against an unaltered, factory
vehicle. Starting with remote exploitation, we will show how to pivot
through different pieces of the vehicle's hardware in order to be able to
send messages on the CAN bus to critical electronic control units.  We will
conclude by showing several CAN messages that affect physical systems of the
vehicle.  By chaining these elements together, we will demonstrate the
reality and limitations of remote car attacks.

  [Lots of submissions on this topic.  See also

Re: Self-driving cars (RISKS-28.79)

Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:54:51 -0400
> Engineering a self-driving car is difficult enough. Now the public has
> to be convinced that the technology works.

In a recent speech I asked a question you might like this:

"What Does the Future Hold for Cyber Security?", 19 June 2015

I leave to any policy discussion the question of whether the speeds at which
cyber security automation must run will even allow occasional interruption
to ask some human operator for permissions to act, or must cyber kill
decisions be automated on the argument that only when so automated can they
respond in time?  If the latter holds, and I am certain that it will,
science will be under the gun to encode human ethics into algorithms that
will thereafter free run.  Put differently, I predict that it is in cyber
security, per se, where the argument over artificial intelligence will find
its foremost concretization.  Frankly, I very much side with Hawking, Gates,
and Musk on such matters.  As an example of an unevalu(at)able vignette, the
self-driving car will choose between killing its solo passenger or fifteen
people on the sidewalk.  Many are the examples of airplane pilots
sacrificing themselves to avoid crash landing in populated zones.  Will you
willingly ride in an altruistic vehicle? ...

Blumenthal/Markey legislation on auto security (not autosecurity!)

"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 9:14:24 PDT
Sens. Blumenthal, Markey Introduce Legislation to Protect Drivers from Auto
Security, Privacy Risks with Standards & "Cyber Dashboard" Rating System,
21 Jul 2014

... “Drivers shouldn't have to choose between being connected and being
protected," said Senator Markey. "We need clear rules of the road that
protect cars from hackers and American families from data trackers. This
legislation will set minimum standards and transparency rules to protect the
data, security and privacy of drivers in the modern age of increasingly
connected vehicles. I look forward to working with Senator Blumenthal to
ensure auto safety and security in the 21st century."

"We feel that as cars become more connected, software security becomes more
important," said Chris Valasek, Director of Vehicle Security Research at
IOActive and Charlie Miller, security researcher. "In addition to robust,
well-tested software, technology for monitoring, logging, detecting, and
possibly stopping attacks should also be implemented.  [...]

  [Dan Geer wrote about auto autosecurity, where this is just auto security.

More Senators' websites untrusted

Henry Baker <>
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:26:21 -0700
FYI—More "recursion, noun.  See recursion".

I got the following error from Firefox while trying to access proposed
legislation on cybersecurity.

Perhaps Senator Markey will learn something about encryption & certificates
while he's at it.

P.S.:  You *can* download Markey's "SPY" proposed legislation here:

Lufthansa flight has near-miss with drone near Warsaw

"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 9:16:00 PDT
A Lufthansa plane with 108 passengers on board nearly collided with a drone
as it approached Warsaw's main airport on Monday afternoon, the airline said
on Tuesday.  The drone came within 100 metres (330 feet) of the Embraer
plane when the Munich to Warsaw flight was at a height of about 760 metres,
the airline and the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) said.

Police are investigating, a PANSA spokesman said.

The plane landed safely at 1409 GMT, a Lufthansa spokeswoman said.

PANSA changed landing directions for other planes until the area was clear.
However, police and military helicopters sent to the area did not spot the

The incident was first reported by the Aviation Herald. It cited the pilots
as telling air traffic controllers they "should take care of your airspace"
and "it is really quite dangerous".

With the use of commercial drones for applications from filming to sports
events and agriculture booming, the European Union is currently working on
new regulations for drones to protect the safety and privacy of its

The regulations are due to be presented in the autumn as part of the
European Commission's new aviation package.

Among the few member states with specific regulations, Germany
<> in June introduced new rules that
prevent the use of drones within 1.5 km of airport perimeter fences.

Anyone wishing to fly a drone beyond that exclusion zone and in controlled
airspace must request permission from air traffic authorities and fly no
higher than 50 metres, depending on the size of the aircraft.

Drones caused alarm in France <> earlier
this year when several flights were spotted operating over sensitive sites
in Paris. [ID:nL5N0W617Y]

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr sees opportunities for the group in the field
of commercial drones, saying last month Lufthansa's maintenance and pilot
training units could provide expertise.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan
in Berlin and Wiktor Szary in Warsaw; Editing by Mark Potter

Re: Gun-Firing Drone Raises Some Eyebrows

"Peter G. Neumann" <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 10:44:07 PDT
  *Slashdot* items [Droning On?]

Police Not Issuing Charges For Handgun-Firing Drone—Feds Undecided

Reign of terror: An online troll destroyes a family's offline life

Gene Wirchenko <>
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:52:54 -0700
A Virginia man attempted suicide after being accused of child rape, getting
death threats and having his home broken into.

Ex-Lottery Worker Convicted of Programming System To Win $14M

Werner U <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 19:31:23 +0200
Eddie Tipton, a man who worked for the Multi-State Lottery Association, has
been convicted of rigging a computerized lottery game so he could win the
$14 million jackpot. Tipton wrote a computer program that would ensure
certain numbers were picked in the lottery game, and ran it on lottery
system machines. He then deleted it and bought a ticket from a convenience
store. Lottery employees are forbidden to play, so he tried to get
acquaintances to cash the winning ticket for him. Unfortunately for him,
Iowa law requires the original ticket buyer's name to be divulged before any
money can be paid out.


OPM: China not to blame; all's fair

Henry Baker <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 08:11:22 -0700
  [FYI—Once again, how's that deterrence thingy workin' out fer ya, Cyber
  Stupid question: BTW, is there any US govt agency whose responsibility it
  is to protect *ordinary citizens* from hackers, foreign and domestic?
  NSA is supposed to protect the govt itself, but who protects us voters?]

U.S. decides against publicly blaming China for data hack
Ellen Nakashima, *The Washington Post*, 21 Jul 2015

Months after the discovery of a massive breach of U.S. government personnel
records, the Obama administration has decided against publicly blaming China
for the intrusion in part out of reluctance to reveal the evidence that
American investigators have assembled, U.S. officials said.

The administration also appears to have refrained from any direct
retaliation against China or attempt to use cyber-measures to corrupt or
destroy the stockpile of sensitive data stolen from the Office of Personnel

“We have chosen not to make any official assertions about attribution at
this point,'' said a senior administration official, despite the widely held
conviction that Beijing was responsible.  The official cited factors
including concern that making a public case against China could require
exposing details of the United States' own espionage and cyberspace
capabilities.  The official was among several who spoke on the condition of
anonymity to describe internal deliberations.

As a result, China has so far escaped any major consequence for what U.S.
officials have described as one of the most damaging cyberthefts in U.S.
government history—an outcome that also appears to reflect an emerging
divide in how the United States responds to commercial vs. traditional
espionage.  [...]

Ellen Nakashima is a national security reporter for *The Washington Post*.
She focuses on issues relating to intelligence, technology and civil liberties.

RedStar OS Watermarking (Florian Grunow)

Henry Baker <>
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:57:04 -0700
  [More really bad ideas for James Comey & Theresa May to ape.  But why stop
  with watermarking?  North Korea has so many more "recommendations" on
  "communications reform" that Comey & May will find appealing.  What the
  Norks lack in strategy, they make up in execution.]

Florian Grunow, RedStar OS Watermarking

During the last few months information about one of North Korea's operating
systems was leaked.  It is a Linux based OS that tries to simulate the look
and feel of a Mac.  Some of its features have already been discussed on
various blog posts and news articles.  We thought we would take a short look
at the OS. This blog post contains some of the results.

As you can imagine, most interesting for us was to investigate features that
impact the privacy of the users.  There are some publications concerning the
security of the OS, this is an aspect that we will not cover in this post.
We will stick to a privacy issue that we identified in this post.  As ERNW
has a long history of Making the World a Safer Place, we consider this topic
an important one.  The privacy of potential users (especially from North
Korea) may be impacted and therefore we think that the results must be made
available for the public.  So, here we go!

When analyzing the OS the first thing that came to our attention is that
they have built an own kernel module named rtscan.  There is a binary
running that is named opprc and a few more binaries, one that seems to
simulate/pretend to be some kind of virus scanner (scnprc) and seems to
share some code base with opprc.  We will concentrate on opprc in this blog
post, as it is one of the most interesting binaries at first glance.

The first thing that came to our attention when looking at the functions in
the binary was this: gpsWatermarkingInformation.  And there are even more
functions like this that sound interesting.  You can see a short extract in
the picture below.

So it seems that there is some watermarking functionality included.  If we
look at the available functions there seems to be additional AES crypto
involved.  From the available functions we can also see that there is
watermarking available for documents, images and even audio.  By looking at
the binary we were able to see that classic word documents are in the list
of documents to be fingerprinted.  So we thought we will give it a shot and
created a simple DOCX file that we copied on a USB drive and attached the
drive to the RedStar OS.  Guess what: The MD5sum of the file changed.  We
did not open the file with the included “Sogwang Office” or touch it
in any way, it just changed simply making it available to the OS.  Now a
DOCX file is basically a ZIP with multiple files included.  If you look at a
DOCX in a hex editor you will see that there are larger areas that are
filled with null bytes at the beginning of the file.  By looking at the same
area again in a file that has once b een transfered to RedStar we see some
garbage inserted into the file.  [...]

Shocking way to stop terrorists/hackers/researchers/...

Henry Baker <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:21:18 -0700
  [FYI—James Comey & Theresa May will absolutely *love* this device,
  except they would invert the shocking condition.]

Web Training Collar

Many websites still only offer an unencrypted (HTTP) connection to their
visitors.  The communication between the visitor's computer and the server
hosting the website is open, and can easily be intercepted by others.
Possible attackers can see anything the user is seeing: text, images, links
clicked, etc.  Especially on open or public Wi-Fi networks there is always
the chance of someone looking at your Internet usage.

The Web Training Collar is aimed at Internet users who want to change this.
If the owners of the websites don't offer a more secure connection, you can
use the tested Pavlov-effect to condition yourself into not visiting these
websites anymore.

This is done using a dog collar that is able to apply a small electrostatic
shock to its wearer.  A small piece of software running in the background on
the user's computer monitors the Internet traffic and applies a corrective
shock when needed.  The intensity of the shock increases with each
consecutive visit to an unprotected website.

All necessary code to use the Web Training Collar can be found in the github

The Web Training Collar was built during medialab Setup's Controlegroep
(control group) project.  The 25 participants of the Controlegroep have set
up experiments to see if and how their behavior can be monitored or altered
with the help of apps and gadgets.  The Web Training Collar uses a browser
plugin combined with a local Flask webserver.  To control the collar from
the computer, an Arduino Nano was used in combination with a 433Mhz
RF-transmitter to replace the original remote control.

Microsoft Will Remove Revenge Porn From Search Results (Pavithra Mohan)

Werner U <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:22:26 +0200
Pavithra Mohan, Microsoft Will Remove Revenge Porn From Search Results
The tech firm is the latest to advocate for victims of revenge porn

Why Deleting Personal Information On The Internet Is A Fool's Errand (Daniel Terdiman)

Werner U <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:22:26 +0200
In the wake of the Ashley Madison hack, we're continuing to learn that
there's no such thing as 100% security on the Internet.

Google Street View Exposes a Man Who Told His Wife He Quit Smoking

Monty Solomon <>
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 08:33:40 -0400

Limits at Gawker? Rules at Reddit? Wild West Web Turns a Page

Monty Solomon <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 00:21:05 -0400
Digital media companies are struggling with a tough transition—from
underfunded start-ups to mature businesses.

3D-Printed Missiles

Henry Baker <>
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 12:03:33 -0700
FYI—Yes, this article is "Sponsor-Generated Content", aka advertising.
"The day is coming when missiles can be printed."

But what Raytheon can do, so can a high school student with his 3D printer,
or as parts ordered online from materials like stainless steel.

Sponsor-Generated Content: To Print a Missile
Raytheon, 19 Jul 2015
The day is coming when missiles can be printed.

  [Weed it and reap! PGN]

Constitutional Malware

Henry Baker <>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 10:17:07 -0700
FYI— The author of this paper is both a lawyer & PhD Computer Science.

Excellent paper on Fourth Amendment issues, but does not evaluate First,
Second, Third, and Fifth Amendment issues wrt to govt malware.  Furthermore,
the author focuses solely on domestic criminal procedure, and doesn't
evaluate national security issues.  Finally, he doesn't address at any
length the types of SW and/or HW hacks necessary to install the malware; in
particular, his paper sheds no light on the recent Comey "HackDoor"

"I normatively argue that the super-warrant standard should apply to
government hacking"

Jonathan Mayer, J.D., Stanford Law School, 2013; Ph.D., Stanford University
Department of Computer Science, Expected 2015.
Constitutional Malware, 20 Jul 2015


The United States government hacks computer systems, for law enforcement
purposes.  According to public disclosures, both the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration are increasingly resorting
to computer intrusions as an investigative technique.  This article provides
the first comprehensive examination of how the Constitution should regulate
government malware.

When applied to computer systems, the Fourth Amendment safeguards two
independent values: the *integrity of a device* as against government
breach, and the *privacy properties of data* contained in a device.  Courts
have not yet conceptualized how these theories of privacy should be

Government malware forces a constitutional privacy reckoning.  Investigators
can algorithmically constrain the information that they retrieve from a
hacked device, ensuring they receive only data that is  in isolation
 constitutionally unprotected.  According to declassified documents, FBI
officials have theorized that the Fourth Amendment does not apply in this
scenario.  A substantially better view of the law, I conclude, is that *the
Fourth Amendment's dual protections are cumulative*, not mutually

Applying this two-stage framework, I find that the Fourth Amendment imposes
a warrant requirement on almost all law enforcement malware.  The warrant
must be valid throughout the duration of the malware's operation, and *must
provide reasonable ex post notice to a computer's owner*.  In certain
technical configurations, the Constitution goes even further, requiring law
enforcement to satisfy an exacting super-warrant standard.  Reviewing public
disclosures, I find that the government has a spotty record of compliance
with these foundational privacy safeguards.

Moving beyond established doctrine and current practice, *I normatively
argue that the super-warrant standard should apply to government hacking*.
The same considerations that prompted heightened judicial review of
wiretapping in the 1960s should prompt close scrutiny of law enforcement
malware today.

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