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'Car Washes Can Be Hacked to Trap You Inside or Smash Up Your Car'

The reason it can be hacked is because the people writing the software didn’t take any steps to secure/protect it.

Just because a system is on the network doesn’t mean it can be hacked. The reason it’s hacked is because of lack of interest in securing it. Securing a system from hacks is not that difficult…I know I do it all the time. But it is time consuming and can be costly. Although if you design security in from the beginning then the cost isn’t that much. Back-filling security can become very costly.

I’m not real concerned. I always think about doors coming down when the aren’t supposed to anyway and I think the robot is on a track so it can’t chase me too much. But really, is this the best a high school kid or terrorist could come up with, to raise havoc in a car wash? What’s next, the laundromat not shutting the washer off?

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…or, they might get a job as a motel chambermaid, and spend their time short-sheeting the beds.
Oh, the horror!

Well we got a brand new sierra truck, somehow there ended up scrapes on the brand new camper top, turned into a giant witch hunt, who what when where, you, no not me etc. stuff happens.

…they guessed the password…let me guess… admin/admin

Good guess on the password and probably 100% correct. I just wish I could hack the brush that bends my license plate every time I use the new car wash. Twice and then I went back to the old one. Too bad because the new one gets the dirt off.

Uh, why would a carwash, of all things, need internet access? A mechanized carwash does the same steps, over and over, adjusting slightly for vehicle size. It’s the ultimate “dumb computer”; it could be feasibly done with punch-cards!

(Does the carwash spend its down time perusing the online personals for “carwash seeking carwash” ads?)

Congratulations on the new truck, I thought you were attached to that old Trailblazer. Did you inspect the camper before it was installed?

It is a new truck at work, not mine, tb still going

The big carwash chains would use it so they can program all of them remotely at the same time.

Years ago computer companies use to ship their systems with the standard Administrator/Password for all systems. Then later they added - first time you logged in you had to change the password. Now password changes for most companies are on domain servers and they keep track of past passwords and have set rules like length and requiring an upper case character and a special character and a number digit.

They’re fully automated for the most part. They can automatically alert to needing supplies replenished as well as needing service. Owners can also check on the business remotely if it’s connected. I know a guy that owns a number of them. Operating costs are relatively low and he can do most of the oversight remotely.

Many years ago (the quantitative amount will be obvious shortly), there was the story of a company that had an astronomical phone bill. The witch hunt was on for the culprit(s). In the end, they found it was a soda machine repeatedly phoning home (internationally) because it was low on soda…

Years ago a co-worker who owned several automated car washes told me a guy got shut inside one of his. No one heard the horn or shouting. No cell phone. The trapped guy finally used pliers he had to dismantle the door enough to get out…it took hours. I don’t recall if there was a lawsuit; I remember something about “lifetime free car washes.”

The only really bad experience I’ve had in an automatic carwash was 21 years ago, just after I got divorced. I was with a girlfriend, driving her 200SX through one of those “doors close and spray head/arm travels around the car” washes… and my window wouldn’t close. We did everything possible with towels (that happened to be in the back seat) to mitigate the high-pressure volumous soapy water, and the rinse water after that, but both I and the car’s interior got soaked.

Other than that, only bent license plates and getting the finish beat up were my only problems with automatic washes. I haven’t used one on one of my own cars for decades.