WHITEPAPER | October 26, 2022

Remote Writing Trailer Air Brakes with RF | Guest Author, Ben Gardiner, NMFTA

Ben Gardiner, NMFTA, provides an in-depth freight security assessment of trailer databus vulnerabilities on freight trailers. Testing several tractor-trailers for the security properties of the trailer databus, J2497 aka PLC4TRUCKS.

We were very interested in what diagnostic features were implemented in the trailer controllers using J1708/J1587 mechanisms and eventually found during the ‘Powermaster’ project that all trailer controllers and even some tractor controller did respond to the J1708 ‘data link escape’ means of executing proprietary diagnostics.

Continuing from the ‘Powermaster’ project, which kicked off this remote reading research – what was discovered was that this traffic could be read remotely with SDRs and active antennas but, more importantly, that valid J2497 traffic could be induced on the trailer databus using SDRs, power amplifiers and simple antennas.