When pulling into a car wash, most people’s biggest worry is they forgot to close the sun roof. At Black Hat 2017, security researchers Billy Rios and Jonathan Butts reported that internet-connected car wash systems now pose a greater risk than an unexpected shower of suds or soaked upholstery. According to a recent CSO Online article, the two researchers believe that vulnerabilities in smart car washes are “the first exploit of a connected device that causes the device to physically attack someone.”
Internet-connected car washes allow owners to remotely manage their operations through a web interface, which opens them up to the same security risks as other smart devices. Rios and Butts found a flaw that allowed them to circumvent authentication and assume complete control over the car wash system to trap and physically attack patrons using the bay doors and mechanical arms.
In an interview with The Register, Butts said, “We controlled all the machinery inside the car wash and could shut down the safety systems. You could set the roller arms to come down much lower and crush the top of the car, provided there was not mechanical barriers in place.”
The researchers first reported this exploit back in 2015, but car wash vendor PDQ Manufacturing still hasn’t resolved the issue. According to CSO Online, a recent advisory by “ICS-CERT warned that automatic car wash systems LaserWash, Laser Jet and ProTouch from PDQ Manufacturing were remotely exploitable and that it required a “low skill level to exploit.” PDQ Manufacturing claims that they’re working on a fix, but so far this smart car wash vendor hasn’t cleaned up its act.
Check out the complete article on CSO Online for a full list of vulnerable car wash products. For more information on the need for secure design in IoT manufacturing, checking out IoT Devices: Fast, Cheap or Secure…Pick Two and Seven Security Strategies IoT Manufacturers Can Learn from Gaming Consoles here on Secplicity.