Driving down the rabbit hole

Presented at DEF CON 25 (2017), July 29, 2017, noon (45 minutes)

Over the past few years, cars and automotive systems have gained increasing attention as cyber-attack targets.  Cars are expensive.  Breaking cars can cost a lot.  So how can we find vulnerabilities in a car with no budget?  We’ll take you with us on a journey from zero car security validation experience through the discovery and disclosure of multiple remotely-exploitable automotive vulnerabilities.  Along the way, we’ll visit a wrecking yard, reassemble (most) of a 2015 Nissan Leaf in our lab, discuss how we picked our battles, fought them, and won.  During our talk, we’ll examine the details of three different classes of vulnerabilities we found in this vehicle, how they can be exploited, and the potential ramifications to the owner of their real-world exploitation.  We’ll also discuss the broader scope of the vulnerabilities discovered, how they extend beyond just this specific vehicle, and what the industry can do better to prevent these types of problems in the future.


  • Oleksandr Bazhaniuk - Security Researcher
    Oleksandr Bazhaniuk is a security researcher and reverse engineer with background in automation of binary vulnerability analysis. He is also a co-founder of DCUA, the first DEF CON group in Ukraine. @ABazhaniuk
  • Jesse Michael / @jessemichael - Security Researcher, McAfee.   as Jesse Michael
    Jesse Michael has been working in security for over a decade and is currently a member of the McAfee Advanced Threat Research team who spends his time causing trouble and finding low-level hardware security vulnerabilities in modern computing platforms @jessemichael
  • Mickey Shkatov - Security Researcher, McAfee.
    Mickey Shkatov is a security researcher and a member of the McAfee Advanced Threat Research team. His areas of expertise include vulnerability research, hardware and firmware security, and embedded device security @HackingThings


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