This clever precomputation attack was developed by a group of researchers at KU Leuven in Belgium. Unlike previous key fob attacks that we’ve covered in the past which have been essentially relay attacks, this hack precomputes a ton of data, looks for a collision in the dataset, and opens the door. Here’s how it works.
Tesla opted not to design their own key fob system, but licensed a product based on Texas Instruments’ DST40 Cipher. A vehicle using this system broadcasts a radio message containing the car’s unique identifier. If the key fob is in range, it will respond to that broadcast, initiating the cryptographic handshake. The vehicle sends a 40-bit challenge message, and the key fob replies with a 24-bit response.
DST40 is the cryptographic cipher that powers this handshake. The key fob has a 40-bit secret key burnt into it’s circuit. DST40 takes the 40-bit challenge, combines it…
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