Radio Attack Lets Hackers Drive Away Your Car

When it was revealed I couldn’t believe my eyes. Someone walks up to a car and its locked, someone else walks up and can instantly get in and at the press of a button start the engine, no key required. Wireless key technology is now employed in cars all over the world and allows for users to avoid the hassle of finding their car keys, sadly it looks like a radio attack lets hackers do exactly the same thing without you even knowing.

A group of german vehicle security experts have studied how the radio hack uses your keys to break into your own key. The whole principle of wireless keys is that the engine and the doors will only work when the keys are within a certain range of the vehicle, this means that if you aren’t near your car it’s just an expensive piece of metal and technology.

Munich-based automobile club, ADAC, tested a hacking technique that uses the principle of “amplification” to fool your car into believing that the keys are actually closer than they actually are. In total, their study found 24 different vehicles were vulnerable, and it wasn’t just one manufacturer that was involved, 19 different manufacturers were vulnerable to the radio attack. What does this mean? Using this kind of attack someone can walk up to your car, and using a small pocket amplification device, unlock and drive away your car. No alarms,

What does this mean? Using this kind of attack someone can walk up to your car, and using a small pocket amplification device, unlock and drive away your car. The total cost of this hack? $225 for the device. Compare that to the cost of the Audi A3, A4 and A6, Ford Galaxy, Mitsubishi Outlander, Renaults Traffic and countless other models that are vulnerable to this attack.

The technique works by “amplifying” your keys signal. In reality, what happens is the key fobs signal is relayed through a pair of radios. Is this an example of technology being made too smart, at the cost of security, in order to save us a few seconds of inconvenience?

Agent Pitta Bread Is Listening

Yes this is still eTeknix and no you haven’t tuned in for the latest Jamie Oliver recipe, oh and before you ask, no I am not wearing a tin foil hat while preaching that the world is going to end. This is the slightly bizarre story of how a Pitta Bread has been used by researchers from Tel Aviv University to conceal a radio transmitter capable of stealing encrypted keys.

As this image below demonstrates, the PITA Device uses an unshielded loop antenna made of plain copper wire which is wound into 3 turns of diameter 13 cm. A tuning capacitor is chosen to maximize sensitivity at 1.7 MHz; this technique captures the key-dependent leakage signal with an SDR receiver being used and which is controlled by a small embedded computer.

How this device connects and steals an encrypted key is by monitoring the differing signals a CPU makes while undertaking various activities, by analysing these radio signals it became possible to discover the key being implemented to secure an encrypted email.

Well this certainly adds a new meaning to the phrase “I think there’s something wrong with that loaf” On a slightly serious Bagel, I mean note, the research demonstrates albeit in a controlled test environment that it is possible, in theory for an attacker to conceal a small device within an object which in turn could possibly decrypt a key which is potentially guarding sensitive documents.

Currently the researchers have developed a range at which this transmitter would be able to steal encryption keys at around (1ft 8in) from said target device. Which is compelling considering this project has been developed at a university with the potential for an unknown source to harness and develop this technique with the aim of executing this device in the real world.

Image courtesy of something awful &

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Microwave Oven to Blame for Mystery Signal

“Ding!” The mystery behind the bizarre signals that have baffled Australia’s most famous scientists for the past 17 years has finally been solved. What was it? the microwave in the kitchen!

Simon Johnston, the head of astrophysics at the CSIRO, the national science agency said that they first detected the signals in 1998. “They were reasonably local, say within 5km of the telescope” . Originally they assumed that the signals, that only were detected a few times per year were coming from the atmosphere from thunderstorms and suchlike.

On the 1st of Jan the team installed a new receiver that detects interference. This detected strong signals at the 2.4GHz range, the same that microwaves operate at. The scientists immediatley started testing the microwave and found no peytons, the type of signal the telescope was finding. However they then cooked something and opened the oven door. “If you set it to heat and pull it open to have a look, it generates interference”

Johnston said the “suspicious perytons” were only detected during the daytime and as they now know, not during the evening when all the staff had finished their shift.

The telescope was established in Parkes 50 years ago in what was “the middle of nowhere”, Johnston said, far away from any radio noise. But in recent years digital interference from the town was getting worse and worse.“There’s no mobile phone coverage, no radio station, no Wi-Fi – it’s pristine and quiet and we can look into the universe and see things that you can’t in Parkes.”

The signals were rare because the interference only occurred when the telescope was pointed in the direction of the microwave oven. And “when you only find a few it’s hard to pin them down”, Johnston said.

I think that’s pretty impressive, what do you think?

Thanks to the Guardian for providing us with this information.

Norway Wants to Kill FM Radio by the End of 2017

Nordic countries are beginning to pick up the pace and keep up with times, more than ever before! According to, Norway plans to make the step to full digital audio broadcasting in as little as 2 years.

Norway’s Ministry of Culture took the decision and announced that the change will start on the 11th of January and end on the 13th of December. Before you ask ‘why the heck are they rushing things?’ While you are still listening to your old-fashioned radio in the background, you should know that hard evidence is backing up the ministry’s decision.

The ministry based the decision on a Digitalradio survey made by TNS Gallup, a marketing research company. The survey revealed that 56 per cent of radio listeners use digital radio on a daily basis and 56 per cent of households own at least one digital audio broadcasting radio device.

Still, the change that led to half of Norway’s population having a DAB radio was not made overnight. Norway started embracing DAB technology back in 1995, having two national DAB networks, along with a few other local ones, cropping up in recent years.

But did you think Norway is the only one doing this? Of course not! A few European countries along with some from South Asia are doing the same thing. This would only help diversify the content broadcasted and bring better quality to radio listeners. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Android Tablet Delivers Air-Strike in Just Four Minutes

Up until now, American Joint Terminal Attack Controllers have been faced with calling in airstrikes using radios and paper maps. During that time, they required to coordinate and monitor positions of inbound aircrews to avoid friendly fire, while also being in the middle of a firefight. Now, thanks to DARPA and their new Android tablet, it takes less time to do that.

DARPA’s Persistent Close Air Support works by having it run on the tablet named Kinetic Integrated Low-cost SoftWare Integrated Tactical Combat Handheld, or KILSWITCH for short. The tech was used before in tactical and navigational applications, but this is the first time the military integrated it into air support.

The PCAS is also integrated directly into a plane’s tactical system and acts as well as the older radio-map method did, but in only four minutes. It has been designed to give real-time situational awareness data sharing between ground forces and overhead aircraft.

The system relies on live satellite, intelligence, and surveillance feeds to ensure that both parties are aware of each other up until the bombing commences. This would also allow the military to use fewer smart munitions. DARPA has tested the new tech in TALON REACH, an US Marine Corps infantry/aviation training exercise held in New Mexico.

“I am very pleased with the successful PCAS demonstration that we had during TALON REACH,” Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation, said in a statement. “I have emphasized to my team that we will network every one of our aircraft.”

With more and more technological advancements, it seems that the modern battlefield is drastically changing its façade. It seems that the latest involves bombing in less time than it takes for a pizza to arrive at your doorstep.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Apple Hires BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe Sparking Music Service Rumours

Apple has taken the strange move of hiring  Zane Lowe, a popular BBC Radio 1 DJ. Lowe, who has grown to widespread acclaim and popularity in the UK and around the world for his work on Radio 1, will be completely relinquishing his duties at the BBC and moving to the US to work for Apple – something that has shocked quite a few.

Of course, this has lead to many wondering why Lowe might be so interested in essentially vanishing from his ever-growing and successful public career, and moving to a much more succinct, low-profile position at a technology company. Many have suggested that this may well be related to Apple’s music service plans, possibly related to Beats, the company Apple acquired last year.

Beats Music, the music streaming service largely cited as the reason Apple bought the company, features special playlists curated by so-called music experts and is subsequently different to other streaming services. The company may well be sourcing people like Lowe, a man famous for his efforts in highlighting new and independent artists, to help them curate the content for the new service.

Source: The Verge

RadioShack Files For Bankruptcy

After a long downfall, US electronics retailer RadioShack has filled for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The news will be unwelcome amongst generations of American techies, as RadioShack has long provided the background of the interest of many tech lovers, from the radio hams in its early days to the PC revolution of the 70s and 80s.

Perhaps that was part of their downfall – they fell behind others due to the rise of smartphones, tablets and the onset of online giants like Amazon. While many went to a computer to buy a new computer, RadioShack’s stores were left with fewer and fewer customers.

Over the last few years the company has made attempts to relaunch itself as a modern retailer, focusing on its smartphone sales. In 2009 it introduced ‘The Shack’ as a new name set to target that very market. And just last year, as part of an all-encompassing rebrand, they put together this Super Bowl ad, one that effectively spelled out the company’s own demise.

Source: Gizmodo

Australian Radio Telescope Captures Strange Signals From Space

Scientists from Melbourne’s Swinburne University have detected alien radio signals from space in real time. The signals were captured by the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia, famously part of the communications network that helped relay the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing footage for TV broadcast around the world.

Emily Petroff, lead researcher at Swinburne University, was excited by the discovery, saying, “Fast radio bursts only last as long as it takes a human to blink their eye. That is what makes this discovery so exciting.”

“Because we were able to catch the act, as opposed to existing data sets, we were able to reveal that the radiation produced by FRB was more than 20 per cent circularly polarised and this suggests there were strong magnetic fields near the source.”

The waves picked up by the Parkes telescope were circular in shape, meaning the signal was on two planes – signals from Earth are commonly only one plane.

“There are two competing models to explain the phenomenon,” Petroff said.

“One suggests it is caused by the collapse or explosion of a star in other another galaxy, while the other suggests it comes from some sort of energy flaring from a neutron star.”

“However, both of these could be incorrect and it could be something entirely different.”


France Unhappy with Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s Storyline

Ubisoft has been copping quite a lot of flack recently. If I were to link to you all of the articles that only just eTeknix has written over the last two months, it would take me all day. But if you’re interested in what started the original ‘witch-hunt’, look no further than Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed: Unity developers claiming that 60 FPS ‘looks weird’, further stating that 30 FPS provides a much more ‘cinematic’ experience.

Former Minister and Presidential Candidate of France, Jean-Lux Mélenchon, has publicly slated Assassins Creed: Unity and it’s developing company – Ubisoft. Thanks to Polygon and TweakTown, we’ve learned that Mélenchon has stated that Unity is nothing more than “propaganda” and “favors the narrative of France’s ruling elite over the revolutionaries”.

It doesn’t stop there. Through an interview conducted on French radio and translated by the Daily Telegraph, Mélenchon’s words only got stronger. He proudly stated that “[Unity] presents an image of hatred of the Revolution, hatred of the people, hatred of the republic which is rampant in the far-right milieu” damning Ubisoft’s representation of Marie-Antionette as she is a “poor little rich girl” and a “cretin”.

There’s no doubting that many proud French citizens are quite passionate about their long history, this is the first time that we’ve seen it transfer across to hatred for a game. Mélenchon was also quite disgruntled about the representation of his people during 1789 – which is the time period that AC: unity is set in, stating:

“The man who was our liberator at a certain moment of the Revolution, because the Revolution lasted a long time, Robespierre, is presented as a monster. It is propaganda against the people, the people who are [portrayed as] barbarians, bloodthirsty savages. In 1789 there were the poor aristocrats, and they are presented as fine upstanding people”.

You know that you’ve done something very right, or very wrong when you start insulting those who would have never heard of your computer game otherwise – especially those who are diplomats. I wonder what American politicians think of Call of Duty?

We will continue to report as the story develops here at eTeknix.

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Average US Facebook User is on Facebook More than They Exercise

Ok excuse me if I dig into Americans a little bit here, I am British after all. So the latest figures from Facebook, according to Mark Zuckerberg, show that on average an American will spend at least 40 minutes a day on the social network, times that by 7 and it comes to just over 4.5 hours per week. The average american is recommended to get at least 2.5 hours of mild exercise a week by the US Government but only 20% of them actually meet the recommended target, the source of that information can be found here, which means 80% don’t! 80% of American Facebook users spend more time staring into their devices then actually keeping themselves fit. You wonder why it’s a nation that considers obesity a disease when the facts are there to prove that people are just too damn lazy to get off their asses and do themselves some good.

If you’re an american and you’re reading this, firstly hello, secondly next time you pick your phone up, don’t open up the app, ring a friend like you used to before Facebook existed, arrange to meet them face to face, go for a walk maybe? Just get out and about, explore the world, meet new people, don’t spend so long just glued to your phone or PC staring at Facebook.

Zuckerberg says that on average people spend 9 hours a day being around social media, this includes TV, Radio, your phone and your PC. If people did more and got out more then they wouldn’t be so exposed to all this media designed to convince you to buy products. In my opinion it’s a form of brainwashing, all be it a mild one, it’s still always there, buy this, look at this, even subliminal messages are being used by retailers to make you buy products without even thinking about it. This is why I don’t watch television or listen to the radio, just too toxic.

Thanks to TweakTown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of TweakTown.

Text Adventure ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ 30th Anniversary Edition

Don’t Panic! In a special celebration of all things “Hitchhiker’s”, BBC Radio 4 Extra is bringing listeners the brand new 30th Anniversary Edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Game online and broadcasting series one and two, ‘The Primary and Secondary Phase”, on the radio.

This is great news for fans of the series, the book and of course the original game, full of the whit and humour that the has kept fans hooked for decades and bringing it back it’s original text based adventure for some retro-tastic fooling around it going to be a great excuse to play some classic games and enjoy a classic series when you’re really supposed to be working.

Both will launch on Saturday 8th March 2014, thirty-six years to the day since Hitchhiker’s first ever radio broadcast and thirty years since the invention of the award winning game. Although in fairness they should have waited until 42 years, although I suspect a “42” edition may already be planned for 2020 release, who knows.

The global multi-media success story that is “Hitchhiker’s” started life as a BBC Radio 4 series in March 1978. The original scripts by the late Douglas Adams went on to spawn a series of novels, a feature film, at least three stage shows, a TV series, a collection of comic books – and various towels, you shouldn’t ever forget a towel.

The game was originally devised in 1984 by the book’s author Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky from Infocom. Notoriously difficult and full of oddities it was one of the best-selling games of its era . The 20th anniversary edition of the game launched on Radio 4’s website in 2004. Over 3 million moves were made in the game in its first 3 days of launch and over 50 million moves had been played within six months. It went on to win a BAFTA for ‘Best Online Entertainment’ and to this day some fans of the game can still be found playing this ageing version online.

The 30th Anniversary specially updated version of the game will allow users to share their achievements with friends over social media via the official twitter feed @h2g2game. Personally I’m not fussed about social media features, but it seems everything needs to have this as a feature these days.

The world’s most devious game will now be in High Definition thanks to refreshed illustrations and graphics. It is a web-based game and will be accessible via Radio 4 Extra’s website. Players can take the game on the move as it will be compatible with tablets and other internet enabled devices, so you’ve no excuse for not giving it a try once it is available.

BBC Radio 4 Extra also proudly presents series one and two of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on air. It has been over 10 years since these programmes were last heard on BBC Radio and they perfectly accompany the game. Actions within the game follow the plot of the radio series and some puzzles are only solvable by players with knowledge of the programmes and story, one of the main reasons the game was so devilishly difficult.

Caroline Raphael, Commissioning Editor for Radio 4 Extra, says: “Douglas was a true visionary and in his own glorious way foresaw all the technology we now take for granted. Radio 4 Extra is delighted to host this game alongside the first two series. Hitchhiker’s fans will be rewarded for their loyalty over the years and newer fans have a real, but fiendish, treat in store. March 8th is a special day for the Galaxy so help us celebrate it in the unique way that only BBC Radio 4 Extra can.”

So go forth and enjoy, but remember to pack a towel.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

MIT’s Cameraless Tracking System Can See Through Walls

Motion tracking and home automation are still a little rough around the edges, sure we have thinks like the new Kinect, which in many ways is an incredibly powerful tool, but the Kinect and other camera based tech like it, comes with several major flaws. Firstly you have to be in line of sight of the camera, and secondly you’ll need another camera for each room you want to use it in, even then various objects and the size of the room will limit its usability for home automation.

A team of engineers at MIT have created a new system which they call WiTrack, and it’s a 3D system like Kinect, only it can track you throughout the entire house, even through walls and it does it all without the use of a camera.


WiTrack uses radio signals to track you “whose power is 100 times smaller than Wi-Fi and 1,000 times smaller than cellphone transmissions” and it does this by reflecting signals off of your body much in the same way that echo location or sonar works, and it’s even accurate to between 10 and 21cm even in its early prototype stage. Interesting the system can detect when a person has fallen with an accuracy of 96.6%, a system that could prove useful for providing extra care to elderly people, or anyone who is in need of extra care.

“We believe there are endless possibilities in a smart home environment,” says Fadel Adib, one of the makers of WiTrack (along with Zachary Kabelak, Dina Katabi, and Robert C. Miller). “For instance, it can know when a person leaves a room and enters a different room, in which case it would automatically turn off the lights of the room he is leaving, and turn on the lights of the room he is entering. In another application, it can sense when a person gets out of bed and automatically turn on the hot water in the shower.”

Home automation is certainly becoming more common place, as more devices become controllable from your smartphone, internet, voice controller, it’s hardly a revolution, but it is happening and systems like WiTrack certainly sound like a step in the right direction, or at least better than needing to install motion tracking cameras everywhere.

Thank you Fastcodesign for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Fastcodesign.

Winamp And Shoutcast To Be Bought By Radionomy

Winamp and Shoutcast, the legacy digital music services that owner AOL originally planned to shut down but then halted pending a sale, are reportedly being bought by another company than what we heard in the past. They are not being bought by Microsoft, but are instead being acquired by Radionomy, an international aggregator of online radio stations headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

The Radionomy connection was first noticed by a Carsten Knobloch over at Stadt-Bremerhaven, who saw that Winamp’s nameservers, but not Shoutcast’s, had been transferred to Radionomy. Since then more, information rolled in and it’s known now that the deal is for both properties and should be finalised by Friday, if not sooner.

Radionomy has some 6,000 stations in its catalog already, with an emphasis on a do-it-yourself platform that anyone can use to create a channel. Shoutcast’s 50,000-strong catalog of radio stations will be a major boost on that front. Winamp’s media playing software could be used to help program those radio stations and offer additional services.

Some of those may see the two products in more commercial settings. One of Radionomy’s strategic investors is MusicMatic, which develops audio and video experiences for stores and other venues.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Rumour: Apple iRadio Having Royalty Troubles With Sony

Apple are looking to get into every corner of our digital lifestyles and the next move for them is iRadio, a service that’s been rumoured, speculated and picked at for quite some time now, but it’s yet to see the light of day and recent rumours may suggest why.

Word has it that while Apple have yet to give up on the iRadio service, it is having serious issues getting the service to market. When it comes to music, people who distribute or broadcast it have to pay the royalty fees and Sony and Apple are said to be stuck, unable to come to agree.

I would hedge a bet that Sony want a large amount of money and Apple simply don’t want to pay anything, but that’s pretty much every financial transaction in the history of money.

Universal Music and Warner Music are already said to be onboard, but if Sony stick to their guns then Apple will either have to keep holding off the service until something can be agreed upon or launch the service minus some of the biggest names in the industry! Which will not be a good thing for and music service, that’s for sure.

Will Apples streaming service take off, who knows, but it should be an interesting alternative to Spotify and similar services if and when it eventually launches.