[Cryptography] VW/EPA tests as crypto protocols ?

Peter Gutmann pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz
Fri Sep 25 09:44:56 EDT 2015

Aram Perez <aramperez at mac.com> writes:

>A few years back on a trip to Europe, a friend of mine was telling me about
>an "after-market" chip he bought for his car (I don't remember the
>make/model) that would give him better performance. It had code to detect
>whether it was being tested and set the parameters so the car could pass the

There's an entire industry doing hot chips/superchips/upgrade chips for ECUs.
They're anything from dodgy-as-hell (e.g. advancing the ignition timing at the
risk of wrecking your engine) through to straighforward stuff like running the
fuel mixture richer (less fuel efficiency, more pollution, but more power),
and whatever else the modders can dream up.  I've been in a car with someone
who had an SH-4 controller set up to modify the ECU operations on the fly, it
was an interesting experience going down a (carefully chosen, empty) country
road with him messing with the engine operations as we were driving.


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