Injecting RDS-TMC Traffic Information Signals a.k.a. How to freak out your Satellite Navigation presented at BlackHatDC 2007

by Andrea Barisani, Daniele Bianco,


Summary : RDS-TMC is a standard based on RDS (Radio Data System) for communicating over FM radio Traffic Information for Satellite Navigation Systems.
All modern in-car Satellite Navigation systems sold in Europe use RDS-TMC to receive broadcasts containing up to date information about traffic conditions such as queues and accidents and provide detours in case they affect the plotted course. The system is increasingly being used around Europe and North America.
The audience will be introduced to RDS/RDS-TMC concepts and protocols and we'll show how to decode/encode such messages using a standard PC and cheap home-made electronics, with the intent of injecting information in the broadcast RDS-TMC stream manipulating the information displayed by the satellite navigator.
We'll discover the obscure (but scary!) messages that can be broadcast (and that are not usually seen over legitimate RDS-TMC traffic), the limits of standard SatNav systems when flooded with unusual messages and the role that RDS-TMC injection/jamming can play in social engineering attempts (hitmen in the audience will love this!).
In order to maximize the presentation we'll also demo the injection...hopefully at low power so that we won't piss off local radio broadcasts.