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How to disconnect the tracking telemetry on the 5th gen 4Runner

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by zerosignal, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. Aug 5, 2021 at 9:48 AM
    #151
    Roland

    Roland New Member

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    Since their discovery, Faraday cages have been used in various places ranging from chemistry labs where precise and sensitive measurements are required, to US Military and NATO computer centers where any unwanted radio emission must be blocked for security and equipment precision considerations.

    The popularity of these EM (electro-magnetic) and RF (radio frequency) shields is so great that they spawned the “tin foil” internet meme.

    https://www.wired.com/2013/12/this-...e, those Wi,would be rendered totally useless.
     
  2. Aug 5, 2021 at 10:14 AM
    #152
    Roland

    Roland New Member

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    ("They have sophisticated tracking software that simply waits and instantly tracks your device as soon as it's removed from the pouch".) Well, kind of, the difference is that with Faraday material you make the decision when you want to be on or off the grid not the hacker. Some people say, simple, I turn my phone off, no, even if your phone is turned off hackers or someone that wants to find you can track your location, with Faraday material they cannot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
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  3. Aug 5, 2021 at 1:11 PM
    #153
    ElectroBoy

    ElectroBoy Ad astra

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    The cheapest effective faraday material is plain old aluminum foil. Test it out yourself, wrap your phone and try calling it from another phone.
     
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  4. Aug 5, 2021 at 2:37 PM
    #154
    Roland

    Roland New Member

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    I used Faraday material as an example, based on the cage of Faraday theory. In the case of varying electromagnetic fields, the faster the variations are i.e., the higher the frequencies, the better the material resists magnetic field penetration. In this case the shielding also depends on the electrical conductivity, the magnetic properties of the conductive materials as well as their thicknesses. In other words Aluminum by itself is an inferior product.

    My spouse will throw a fit if I use her Aluminum kitchen roll to rap my car. - LOL

    Seriously, much more effective ways are available to block GPS & cellphones from not being tracked & hacked, used by the Government, unfortunately it's not allowed by Law to acquire these devices or using knowledge to do so, making some simple changes on your GPS, cellphone, etc.

    I'm not sure returning the same frequency GPS/Cell is against the law in the US. It’s a possibility that it would be called spoofing, which is illegal.

    If you know how to, you can even filter and reroute tracking by itself, You’re in New-York and the tracker will tell the hacker you’re in LA. LOL, without disabling most of the functionality of your equipment.



    For now; excuse my rant.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
  5. Aug 17, 2021 at 1:03 PM
    #155
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    As I've been saying....

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/08/17/blackberry-qnx-vulnerability-hackers-505649

    "A flaw in software made by BlackBerry has left two hundred million cars, along with critical hospital and factory equipment, vulnerable to hackers — and the company opted to keep it secret for months.

    On Tuesday, BlackBerry announced that old but still widely used versions of one of its flagship products, an operating system called QNX, contain a vulnerability that could let hackers cripple devices that use it."
     
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  6. Aug 19, 2021 at 12:47 AM
    #156
    POWERPLANTHOMER

    POWERPLANTHOMER New Member

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    I’m going to show my crazy for a minute. I’m worried about my 2 4Runners being disabled in a bug out situation. I’ve read through everything, I’m assuming pulling the fuse, and never connecting my phone will disable data, so the overlords will not disable my 4Runner from starting. Thoughts?
     
  7. Aug 19, 2021 at 10:13 AM
    #157
    ElectroBoy

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    Good info here. Thanks for the link. It seems that at this point the Blackberry QNX RTOS is used mainly for the safety systems for many auto makers, including Toyota. Blackberry prides itself in the security of their software. But software security is an ever moving target. We’re going to be affected with security breaches forever.
    https://www.blackberry.com/us/en/co...-is-now-embedded-in-over-195-million-vehicles

    BlackBerry QNX is the market leader for safety-certified embedded software in automotive. Automakers and Tier 1s, including Aptiv, BMW, Bosch, Ford, GM, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Volkswagen, trust BlackBerry QNX software for a broad range of critical systems. These include Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Digital Cockpits and Secure Data Gateways, all of which are becoming increasingly prevalent in vehicles. Furthermore, BlackBerry QNX is key to the future of the automotive industry, with design wins with 23 of the top 25 electric vehicle automakers, and providing a safe, reliable, and secure software foundation for autonomous drive vehicle systems.”
     
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  8. Aug 19, 2021 at 10:23 AM
    #158
    Bubbles

    Bubbles New Member

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    Trade it in on a 3rd gen.
     
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  9. Aug 19, 2021 at 10:48 AM
    #159
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    Indeed. Which is why it’s good to have some of one's important tools (like a truck) not connected to the internet / accessible remotely by bad actors.

    If someone smart is really out to get you specifically, then they can do so in many ways and don’t need the internet. But that’s such a low probability event.

    In contrast, governments and cyber criminals hacking into internet-connected devices is a daily occurrence.
     
  10. Aug 19, 2021 at 11:03 AM
    #160
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    I’m not sure what more to say that hasn’t already been written here. But in summary:

    Disconnecting the antenna from the DCM might be the most elegant solution, but that seems to require pulling part of the dash. I don’t know of anyone who’s tried that yet.

    Pulling the DCM fuse is dead simple and should be very effective, but it disables the cabin microphone used for making phone calls. Also, if pulled long enough there’s a worry that the DCM backup battery will die and throw error messages that you might not be able to clear without installing a new battery.

    I think we’ve deduced that there’s little to no risk of one’s cell phone transmitting vehicle data when it’s connected to the vehicle. But we know for sure that most cars collect data from the phone and store it locally, in the car’s computer. And it can then be transmitted by the car itself if the car is connected to the internet. Or collected later by someone with physical access to the car, such as the next owner. We also know that these records can be very hard to delete, and some cars are worse than others (eg they collect the content of text messages, not just your address book and call history).

    I’m somewhat comforted to know that I can pull the DCM on a moment’s notice. It could be too late, but if you have a specific reason to be worried about hacking or dangerous invasions of privacy via this system, you can pull the fuse. For example, if there’s news of an uptick in widespread hacking of similar systems or we seem to be entering into some kind of cyber war with nations like China or Russia.

    But as I said in reply to the excellent ElectroBoy, it would be nice to know that your truck — a thing that is amongst your most important tools — is immune from remote manipulation by bad guys. Thus this thread.
     
  11. Aug 20, 2021 at 12:32 AM
    #161
    ElectroBoy

    ElectroBoy Ad astra

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    Hey, @Singleminded, pulling apart the dash to access the radio to get to the DCM antennas seems daunting the first time you do it but it’s really not hard.
    Here’s a video showing how:
    https://youtu.be/lGCGholXwLk
     
  12. Aug 20, 2021 at 6:22 AM
    #162
    SVMTRCSR

    SVMTRCSR New Member

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    So, previously I had the fuse pulled and had no issues but after about a week got paranoid about battery, so put fuse back in. Today I took the dash apart, removed two side panels and a/c controls, also removed access door on the left side of glove box for more light on wires. I did not remove radio. I then used a long thin screw driver to depress clips on left side of wire connections and pulled out both the blue and white wire. It was easy to do. DCM has no bars and SOS is red and no warning lights. Will update if anything comes up. Note: I do not use my phone in the vehicle and never have. So now Toyota or whomever can track someone else along with no more appointments made for scheduled service that they could only know by tracking my mileage. I had the dealer where I bought it make appointments for service then leave me a message to call them if I can not make appointment. I do my own maintenance.

    dash photo.jpg
     
  13. Aug 20, 2021 at 11:55 AM
    #163
    ecoterragaia

    ecoterragaia New Member

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    Thanks for posting the video, that is unbelievable easy. Literally took him less than a minute to remove the panels.
     
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  14. Aug 20, 2021 at 11:57 AM
    #164
    ecoterragaia

    ecoterragaia New Member

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    :yes: Thanks for being the guinea pig, I plan to do this as soon as I get my new truck home (whenever that will be :(). Please let us know if you run into any issues down the road.
     
  15. Aug 20, 2021 at 12:13 PM
    #165
    SVMTRCSR

    SVMTRCSR New Member

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    Update, I needed some stuff from Wally World (Chinese Superstore) so on my drive there no bars on DCM and still red on SOS. But when I pulled into Wally World I got one bar showing on DCM? Still red on SOS. So I drove around my small town when I left and one bar would appear and disappear, then nothing as I drove home (live in somewhat rural area).
     
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  16. Aug 20, 2021 at 12:15 PM
    #166
    ecoterragaia

    ecoterragaia New Member

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    So it sounds like there is enough signal strength from cell towers that it's able to connect without the antenna(s), but only if you're close enough to them.

    Edit: That's interesting, thank you for posting.
     
  17. Aug 20, 2021 at 12:19 PM
    #167
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    Hmmm, this may speak to the one possible flaw in the antenna-disconnect method that I was worried about. Pulling the antenna would surely reduce signal strength, but would it eliminate it? As I’ve noted, our cell phones don’t need coax cables attached to a shark fin. If you in fact disconnected the right things, I wonder if that’s what’s going on here: You drove to a spot with a strong enough cell signal that the DCM didn’t need a separate antenna.

    hmmmmm…
     
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  18. Aug 20, 2021 at 12:21 PM
    #168
    ecoterragaia

    ecoterragaia New Member

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    I wonder if it's enough to register that it's receiving a signal, but maybe not strong enough to establish an internet connection.

    Now we need someone to disconnect the antennas, park under a cell tower, and see if they can see updated info on the phone app :)
     
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  19. Aug 20, 2021 at 12:29 PM
    #169
    SVMTRCSR

    SVMTRCSR New Member

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    I pulled the blue and white wire as stated in post 119. I'm close to 15,000 miles so we will see if my dealer makes me another appointment or not (if they can see or are alerted to my mileage via my vehicle). SOS stayed red even when DCM bar appeared.
     
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  20. Aug 20, 2021 at 1:44 PM
    #170
    ElectroBoy

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    By pulling those two connectors off of the DCM unit you actually are disconnecting the two cellular antennas. I think you’re correct that a high enough signal strength could make it into the open pins of the DCM unit and almost register a signal. It probably wouldn’t be a good link and would fail.

    In order to really block any RF from getting into the DCM you’d need to terminate the inputs with a resistive load. That would require a custom connector etc. But instead you can try shielding them by encasing them the best you can with a conductive cover. Like a sheet of carbon impregnated foam (like you’d get with ICs for ESD protection). Or cover the connectors and as much of the DCM with aluminum foil.
    It’s worth a try.
     
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  21. Aug 20, 2021 at 5:05 PM
    #171
    SVMTRCSR

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    Well I'm just going to leave the two wires unplugged and see what happens. I'm not going to attempt to cover the unit or anything as vehicle is still under warranty. To me this is a simple test that I can put back easily. I do not want to make the top five of the darwin awards!
     
  22. Aug 20, 2021 at 10:10 PM
    #172
    Bald Michelins

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    Yeah, I just got finished doing this. It is a half a beer job. No DCM signal and the red light up top. That's just sitting in the garage so we'll see how it goes. I used a pair of forceps to get in there pull the plugs. Very easy.
     
  23. Aug 21, 2021 at 10:03 PM
    #173
    Bald Michelins

    Bald Michelins New Member

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    I'm getting the same results as others. One bar of signal in town on the DCM. I never activated or loaded the app so I can't try that out and I'm not going to.
     
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  24. Aug 21, 2021 at 11:58 PM
    #174
    Bald Michelins

    Bald Michelins New Member

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    Just thinking out loud, if the DCM fuse is pulled, how would the computer know to throw a code if the backup battery dies? The circuit is isolated. I'm not an electrical engineer so help me out here.
     
  25. Aug 22, 2021 at 3:46 PM
    #175
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    I’ve had the same thought. I don’t think any of us knows for sure. The error code might not appear until / unless you reinstall the fuse.
     
  26. Aug 24, 2021 at 9:46 PM
    #176
    RickDawg

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    Hey All. This has been a great thread. I just caught up to now.

    Given the drawbacks of disabling the microphone or the risk that a strong cell signal could still transmit with the antennas disconnected, can we circle back to the idea of pulling the SIM card? This seems like the solution with no drawbacks. Has anyone located the SIM card in the DCM and could provide some instructions?

    Thanks!

    R
     
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  27. Aug 24, 2021 at 10:39 PM
    #177
    McSpazatron

    McSpazatron New Member

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    This sounds like a good aftermarket opportunity for someone! I’d buy a little dongle or something like that to plug into the cell antenna slot. I like the idea of killing the signal once and for all

    edit: I also like the sim card idea mentiined above, if one exists
     
  28. Aug 25, 2021 at 7:11 AM
    #178
    RickDawg

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    Yeah, I had been envisioning the best state would be a remote switch so you can re enable it, if you need to get a software update, and then turn it back off without having to crack open your dashboard each time.
     
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  29. Sep 4, 2021 at 6:32 PM
    #179
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    As I’ve been saying…

    https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a37453835/car-hacking-danger-is-likely-closer-than-you-think/

    “In fact, almost every car on the road today, if it can connect, can be hacked to some degree.”

    "We have taken whatever model [car] you think of and we hack them through various places. I can control your steering, I can shut down and [start] your engine, control your brakes, your doors, your wipers, open and close your trunk."
    ………….
    Michael Dick, CEO of C2A Security, an Israel-based automotive cybersecurity company, told the Free Press he expects the current trend of hackers holding digital data on computers for ransom to move to cars at some point. When this happens, driver will not be able to start their vehicle until they pay off the hacker or suffer the consequences. "There's no way around it," he said. "You'll have to get it towed and get all new software to start it."
    ……….
    These included a hacker gaining control over "Tesla's entire connected vehicle fleet by exploiting a vulnerability in the OEM's server-side mechanism" and hackers taking "full control of an OEM's corporate network by reverse-engineering a vehicle's [telematics control unit] and using the telematics connection to infiltrate the network."
    ………..
    And the moral of the story:

    “It is impossible to remotely hack into an unconnected car.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
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  30. Sep 4, 2021 at 9:43 PM
    #180
    RickDawg

    RickDawg New Member

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    Hey All,

    I just found this article below. It looks like the SIM may not be a typical SIM card but an eSIM. eSIMs appear to not be locked to one carrier but remotely programmable. Nevertheless, I think removing it sounds like the best way to ensure no connectivity and keep the hands free calling feature functional.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/KDDI-to-supply-SIM-cards-for-Toyota-s-connected-cars

    "KDDI has tied up with Toyota for the development of connected cars using the current fourth-generation wireless standard. In Japan, KDDI is already supplying communications functions for Toyota's Lexus luxury brand and some other car models.
    The telecom operator will supply SIM cards called "eSIM" cards to Toyota starting in 2019. In such cards, content can be rewritten remotely. Wherever in the world they are, cars equipped with the cards can automatically connect with local telecom networks."

    I am about to buy a 4runner, possibly new, and would love to know if I can remove or disable this SIM. Is anyone up for taking a look for it on their 4runner? :) Would be much appreciated!
     
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