Researching Hastings Murder: Hacking Modern Cars

Mercedes-Benz C250 runs a UNIX like real time operating system called QNX. Here is a video which details the vulnerabilities in QNX in cars from 2011. It lists how it broke into the system in multiple ways, gaining full control over accelerating and being able to record.

QNX like most software has bugs, The QNX neutrino kernel allowing one to overwrite files which normally are blocked from being overwritten. It’s design allows for quick restarts of any subsystem if a system is to fail, possibly loading the new changed file. There are probably more bugs in QNX, as there are in any system and it’s on most of all the new cars.

Most Important Points

Wikileaks revealed that their lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, was contacted by Hastings just hours before his death claiming that he was being investigated by the FBI.

Hastings sent an email to colleagues hours before his death stating: re:NSA… I’m onto a big story and need to go off the radar for a bit.

One eyewitness described the crash as such: “The Car Was Bouncing, Flames and Sparks Near the Gas Tank. When He Hit the Palm Tree That’s When the Flames Were Higher. There Were Explosions and Everything… No One Could Approach the Car Because it Kept Exploding.”

The accident only involved Hastings car, no other vehicles.

Another witness described the scene: “It sounded like a bomb went off.” “My house shook, the windows were rattling.” “I couldn’t have written a scene like this for a movie.”

Hastings was driving a new Mercedes E-Class, a car not prone to bursting into flames before a crash.

Hastings had worked on numerous articles critical of the establishment, including: The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret, Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview, Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators, America’s Last Prisoner of War.

One of Hastings articles had resulted in the forced resignation of General McChrystal.

Hastings had no reason to be speeding, let alone in a suburban neighborhood. He was a rising star in journalism working on major stories.

The Mercedes’ drive train was about 50-60 yards away from the crash site.

Hastings had said in a 2012 Reddit AMA that he received numerous death threats.

When he died, Hastings was working on a story regarding current CIA director Brennan.