Disgruntled Employee Remotely Disables Cars using the Webtech Plus System

Event Year: 2010 Reliability: Confirmed
Country: United States
Industry Type: Automotive

A man fired from a Texas auto dealership used an internet service to remotely disable ignitions and set off car horns of more than 100 vehicles sold at his former workplace.  Omar Ramos-Lopez used a former colleagues password to access the Webtech Plus system operated by Pay Technologies.  This system lets car dealers install a box under the vehicle dashboards that responds to commands issued through a central website, and relayed over a wireless pager network.  It is an alternative to reposessing the vehicle.  The dealer can disble the car’s ignition system or trigger the horn as a reminder that a payment is due.  The Texas auto center received customer complaints.  The issues subsided when Texas Auto Center reset the Webtech Plus passwords for all of its employee accounts.  The police obtained access logs from Pay Technologies and traced the activity to the IP address of Ramos-Lopez’s internet service.  This incident is the first time an intruder abused the system according to Jim Krueger the co-owner of Pay Technologies. Ramos-Lopez was charged with felony breach of computer security.


Car ignitions were disabled and horns were activated remotely in an act of sabotage.  The vehicle owners could not operate their vehicles and many missed work and had to have their cars towed.