lecture: Software Defined Emissions

A hacker’s review of Dieselgate

Event large

A technical talk on how to reverse-engineer electronic control units in order to document what was left apparently intentionally undocumented by the vendor – including how Volkswagen tweaked their cycle detection code while already being investigated by the EPA, how different the Volkswagen approach is really to the rest of the industry, and of course some trivia on how the „acoustic function“ got its name.

A year ago, I showed how I pinpointed the cycle detection technique in the ECU software of a Volkswagen car. This talk will focus on the technical part of what has happened since then – how to reverse engineer an ECU, what other vendors do, what their reaction was, and putting the „isolated findings of a hacker“ into perspective.

I’ll talk about data collection over CAN, understanding EGR/SCR control strategies (and how to characterize them), and how to find the needle in a 17000-element haystack (and how to understand whether it’s indeed a needle and or just a thin, cylindrical object with a sharp point at the end which legally does not represent a needle).


Day: 2016-12-27
Start time: 20:30
Duration: 01:00
Room: Saal 1
Track: Ethics, Society & Politics
Language: en



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