"Do not hack the elevators here, please."
Will Caruana is on stage at the annual DEF CON hacking convention in Las Vegas, and with a quick disclaimer and mischievous grin, he's implored the crowd to behave. Behaving, of course, is not why anyone went to a talk on hacking elevator phones.
According to Caruana's talk, Phreaking Elevators, the emergency phones in elevators around the world are poorly, if at all, protected from potential abuse. Why does that matter? What trouble can you get up to with an elevator phone, anyway? Quite a lot, it turns out.
For starters, anyone who is so inclined can dial into the phones — all you need is the number (which in some cases you can find online) — thus giving an attacker the ability to listen in on any conversation happening within. Read more...