Hacking Danger for Electronic Skateboards

Posted on Aug 11 2015 - 1:49pm by Robert

You might think that going out on an electric skateboard is all about fun, wicked noseslides and umm, varial heel flips.

You would be wrong, though. These days, dudes with boards have to worry about hackers while they are getting air. Of course, this only applies to electronic skateboards, as you probably imagined.

A defect was found on a Boosted electric skateboard. What did it let the hacker do? Just take control of the darned thing, that is all.

The attack was carried out by a security expert called Richo Healey and eBay security guy Mike Ryan. They worked out how to use Bluetooth in order to take control of a skateboard and put it into full reverse mode.

No Encryption Present

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With the model they attacked, the rider uses a handheld Bluetooth device to control it, using the Bluetooth Smart system. However, the hackers found that as there is no encryption in the system they could jam the signal and stop the controller from being able to do anything.

Once this has been done, the hackers can then use a laptop to connect to the skateboard and send it the commands they want to give it. This means that they could make it turn or go into reverse at full speed if they want to.

The skateboard in question is capable of going at 20 mph, and a sudden, unexpected change of direction at this speed could prove to be really bad news for the rider.

As well as the Booster board that they were able to control, Healey and Ryan also discovered that other boards, such as one by Revo, had what they called “critical” issues with vulnerability to hackers.

In response, Boosted has said that their next firmware release will include Bluetooth 2.0 with encryption.

Would you use an electric skateboard or does this issue worry you?

 

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