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Are Automotive 'Black Boxes' Secure?
12/21/2012

An IEEE working group says that event data recorders won't maintain security of vehicle crash data.   (Source: Tom Kowalick/AirMika Inc.)
An IEEE working group says that event data recorders won't maintain security of vehicle crash data.
(Source: Tom Kowalick/AirMika Inc.)

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robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: BLACK BOXES
robatnorcross   12/26/2012 5:52:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Engineers have only themselves to blame for developing crap like this. No matter what you make the bean counters (and politicians) will put it to "un-intended consequences".

To quote (somewhat) one of the inventors of radar at MIT during WW2 "we had  better hope the cops don't find out about this"

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: BLACK BOXES
NadineJ   12/26/2012 6:08:38 PM
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Kirk-That already exists.  It's advertised as a "nifty" way to lower your rates for being a safe driver.  You have to opt in...for now.

rathomas
User Rank
Iron
Re: Data in crash recorders
rathomas   12/27/2012 11:24:39 AM
NO RATINGS
I like this idea and the technology has already existed for quite some time, though generally used for the opposite effect - disabling reads from a programmed device (ROM, microcontroller ROMs) to protect IP.  This has also been done in a non-desctructive way where memory read/write can be re-enabled, but only after erasing the contents. 

) Take that existing tech, repurposed to write-protecting the memory

) add in on-board logic that monitors the sensor values of interest and locks the memory to read-only after a catastrophic event was detected

) possibly add the ability to re-enable writes (so the hardware could be reused), but only after incrementing a non-resetable, non user-writable counter that indicates writing was enabled after a catastrophic event.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Black boxes and their abuse potential:Whose fault?
William K.   12/27/2012 10:41:30 PM
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DO NOT blame all engineers for the creation of this concept and package. I may have been the first to suggest something, but my idea was a system to record seatbelt usage, the idea was that if occupants wee not wearing their belts that the insurance company would not need to pay anything. I still think that it would be a very effective incentive towards belt use. It would allow freedom of choice, but of course it would not allow freedom from consequences. But it does not ever seem to have been taken seriously.

nyeng
User Rank
Gold
Re: Data in crash recorders
nyeng   12/30/2012 1:21:07 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm all for software that allows you to erase the info.  That information will never help you.  It's there to let the government fine you or your insurance company to raise your rates.  Whatever they'll feed you about the data being helpful to science and there to save lives is a bunch of BS.

GeoOT
User Rank
Silver
Black box big and little brother
GeoOT   12/30/2012 2:13:45 PM
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The issues brought up here need to be sorted out and fast.  The technology (e.g. OnStar) is upon us so that no physical contact with the vehicle is necessary in order to suck out the memory contents of a VDR.  We can still buy a car that doesn't have a VDR but that is going away soon.  How long will it be before cars will be required to have a cellular based wireless data connection.  When that cuts in the vehicle owner will be the LAST person in the data access permission chain.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Legal issues
Charles Murray   1/2/2013 6:13:23 PM
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You raise a bunch of good points, TJ. One, quite notably, is "who is behind this initiative?" If you consider that 96% of vehicles already have the technology, and the manufacturers did so without the prodding of a mandate, it tells you a lot.  

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: BLACK BOXES
Charles Murray   1/2/2013 6:16:04 PM
NO RATINGS
If you're wearing a "tin foil hat," bobjengr, then there's a lot of us wearing the same hat.

g-whiz
User Rank
Gold
More big brother
g-whiz   1/4/2013 10:03:36 AM
NO RATINGS
   This has nothing to do with saving lives or public safety. Follow the money, folks. This is all about about making sure the proper party gets blamed and they are sued to the hilt. They only want to make sure the data can't be tampered with so it will stand up in court.


   As has already happened (i.e. rental car companies), data will be collected about where and how fast you were going (via GPS) for the purpose of revenue collection. You will simply get a speeding ticket in the mail informing you of the infraction. Again, its just money folks. "Public safety" is just a smoke screen to make the program appear palatable.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: BLACK BOXES
Charles Murray   1/10/2013 10:02:40 PM
NO RATINGS
For those who care to learn more, here's a link to NHTSA's event data recorder research web site:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Research/Event+Data+Recorder+(EDR)/Welcome+to+the+NHTSA+Event+Data+Recorder+Research+Web+site

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