San Francisco Parking meter system hacked #BlackHat


From the ‘they told us so’ files:

Last month Joe Grand explained that there were flaws in parking meter systems. Today at Black Hat he explained how he found those flaws and what he was able to do with them.

In a nutshell Grand was able to reverse engineer the Smart Cards used in San Francisco such that he could trick the meter into thinking the card had an arbitrary value.

The answer to the problem in San Francisco and potentially elsewhere is a simple one according to Grand. He noted that the meters should have anti-tampering mechanisms and they should have accessible serial ports on them.

Researcher Jacob Applebaum who joined Grand on the stage commented that actually interfacing with the San Francisco meters wasn’t hard. He said no one asked him what he was doing — and if they did he would have said it was an ‘art project.’

Picture: Joe Grand (left), Jacob Applebaum (right). Credit: Sean M. Kerner

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