This is slightly old news, but since last year, all cars sold in the US are required to have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). These systems work through a sensor in each tire that monitors the tire pressure; the on-board computer in your car can read the output via a wireless connection.
To the average user, this might sound harmless. But to make sure your car only displays warnings about its own tires, each sensor has a unique ID. That means your care has four unique ID’s, which can be read remotely. Most current implementations don’t use any form of encryption, or other methods to hide the ID. That means anyone with some basic radio equipment can identify your car.
HexView has some suggestions for what you might do with this information, including:
- Monitor where your car is by installing readers under roads
- Use this information to send you speeding tickets
There are lots of other uses, and some might argue that this could be a great tool in the war on terror. The FBI can already track terrorists by following their cell phone signal, but creating a national database that tracks the location of every car in the country might just help them catch those terrorists… After all, you’ve got nothing to hide, do you?