Author Topic: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors  (Read 11308 times)

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Offline tesla500

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High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« on: January 06, 2014, 07:14:56 am »
Ben Krasknow shared this thread about how some high-end CNC machines have GPS/Gyro sensors in them to detect movement of the machine and lock the machine down if moved. Once locked, the machines require an unlock code from the manufacturer to operate again. This is presumably now required on machines of certain capability due to ITAR export restrictions.

This is a very disturbing trend if it continues, with governments mandating technical measures like this in an attempt to prevent export of technologies to "undesirable" nations. If the manufacturer ever goes under, or just decides they don't like you, your machine becomes worthless if you ever move it. What if the GPS system goes down? Does your machine stop working? It may also make it very difficult for an individual to purchase a used machine for example.

Do you think we'll end up seeing this more in the future?
 

Offline ejeffrey

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 07:36:04 am »
ITAR is a giant pain in the ass all the way around.  The worst part is that ITAR itself is incredibly vague.  Accompanying it are a large number of official guidelines for specific situations, plus an even larger amount of voodoo nonsense that some lawyer once decided to do 'just to be safe' and other people continue randomly copying or not depending on how much they are thinking about it at the time.  There list literally nobody that can tell you definitively that something is allowed.

 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 07:41:35 am »
i'd be sus about a full lockdown from gps alone as most of these machines are not located in the most gps friendly environments,

now a mechanical lock-down to prevent anything moving or any buttons being pressed during transportation i can understand, just so long as the owners are supplied the code on purchase,

as for preventing use in a foreign country? well i dont live in the US, but perhaps instead lock it down to a level of accuracy that falls under the ITAR restrictions so the machine is still usable while you wait for there god slow service techs to wander down. but your going to have to increase your part tolerances a bit while you wait?
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 07:44:16 am »
According to the linked forum posts, It's believed to be a motion sensor, not GPS.
 

Offline don.r

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 07:48:50 am »
Cue earthquake.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 07:52:59 am »
Wonder if the code that has to be entered is fixed or if GPS is used, based on position?
How far would you have to move your machine before it spits the dummy and stops working?
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 07:59:27 am »
i would greatly assume it would be a rolling code based on the serial number and some private number they cooked up and keep in house,


equally yes the article specifically mentions tilting the device, so it would probably be something like a low pass filtered gyro, and when it has been tilted past a certain amount from static (when the code was entered) for a certain amount of time it locks,

i would say next time move the thing onto a rolling bed and bolt that in place where you need it, then when you want to move it around the shop, roll very slowly,
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 08:08:14 am »
i would greatly assume it would be a rolling code based on the serial number and some private number they cooked up and keep in house,


equally yes the article specifically mentions tilting the device, so it would probably be something like a low pass filtered gyro, and when it has been tilted past a certain amount from static (when the code was entered) for a certain amount of time it locks,

i would say next time move the thing onto a rolling bed and bolt that in place where you need it, then when you want to move it around the shop, roll very slowly,

These sort of mills weigh many tons and require a solid mount i.e. bolted to the floor.
The  OP of the linked thread wasn't aware of the requirement for a code when moved and has had to wait up to a month to get one.
 

Offline amyk

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 08:40:09 am »
It almost disgusts me how much the posters in that linked thread are basically screaming "OMG BUT THE TERRORISTS!!!"
If the manufacturer ever goes under, or just decides they don't like you, your machine becomes worthless if you ever move it. What if the GPS system goes down? Does your machine stop working? It may also make it very difficult for an individual to purchase a used machine for example.
Hint: the answer is a 4-letter word, and it begins with a 'h'. ;)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 08:43:14 am by amyk »
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 09:09:16 am »
And as it came into the world, *poof* the thread is now gone.

Edit: Looks like the thread is back? I guess the site just took a hit from the extra traffic?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 10:34:24 am by peter.mitchell »
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 09:11:39 am »
actually on further thought i am surprised it locks up on any movement, (inferred from thread) these devices are far from easy to relocate, and could have been given a half hour window without any risk of it even leaving the building
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2014, 09:12:41 am »
"Toshiba Machine Company of Japan and Kongsberg Group of Norway supplied eight computer-guided propeller milling machines to the Soviet Unionbetween 1982 and 1984, an action that violated the CoCom regulations.  The United States's position is that this greatly improved the ability of Soviet submarines to evade detection. Congress moved to sanction Toshiba, and bar imports of its products into the United States."
Well, I guess it is time to develop a GPS spoofer.
 

Offline poorchava

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2014, 12:38:00 pm »
My answer would be: ok, thake away your machines - I'm gonna buy ones frome people who don't impose dumb regulations. I would be VERY pissed off if I purchased a machine for shitload of money and then became a hostage of the manufacturer helped by the government.
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Online nctnico

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 01:14:09 pm »
The worse part is that these machines are already in countries where they are not supposed to be complete with hacked motion sensors. It is much like software. If you buy it legally you have to jump through hoops to get/keep it working while a cracked copy installs in seconds and is ready to go.
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Online dexters_lab

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 03:06:11 pm »
interesting thread!

i too would be surprised if they used gps, although it would probably be better because they could engineer in say a 1km radius around the original installation point to allow for movement within a facility. With gyros you would probably struggle to move it a few meters!

is this locking down legislation applicable to the USA only or are there similar policies in the EU?
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Offline KJDS

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2014, 11:33:14 am »
interesting thread!

i too would be surprised if they used gps, although it would probably be better because they could engineer in say a 1km radius around the original installation point to allow for movement within a facility. With gyros you would probably struggle to move it a few meters!

is this locking down legislation applicable to the USA only or are there similar policies in the EU?

ITAR restrictions are US rules that also apply to all in the US and US companies with offices outside of the US. Many other countries have similar rules, though most aren't as anal as the US ITAR rules.

Online fcb

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2014, 12:19:48 pm »
Even fairly stock machining centres have motion sensors that interface with the control system - this is because they are classed as 'dual use' machines.

One salesman told me that a number of their machines had shown up in Iran after being sold and installed in the UK.  CNC lathes are the worst offenders as they are essential for making large quantities of centrifuges and shell casings.

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Offline daqq

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2014, 12:49:41 pm »
Lovely... this is complete and utter industrial grade idiocy with a little crazy on top.
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Offline poorchava

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2014, 02:50:35 pm »
Annoyingly enough, most EU laws and directives apply here in Poland. I have a friend, who literally sits on a dozen or so ultra-high-spec machining equipment (they simply offer machining services) and nobody gives a flying fart what they use those for. I've also never heard of anything like that happening in EU.
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Offline justanothercanuck

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2014, 08:51:16 am »
equally yes the article specifically mentions tilting the device, so it would probably be something like a low pass filtered gyro, and when it has been tilted past a certain amount from static (when the code was entered) for a certain amount of time it locks

Could it be something as simple as a tilt bob on a pinball machine?  Although those don't exactly work when the device is unpowered.

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Offline nitro2k01

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2014, 09:25:57 am »
equally yes the article specifically mentions tilting the device, so it would probably be something like a low pass filtered gyro, and when it has been tilted past a certain amount from static (when the code was entered) for a certain amount of time it locks

Could it be something as simple as a tilt bob on a pinball machine?  Although those don't exactly work when the device is unpowered.


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Offline G7PSK

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2014, 09:49:37 am »
The real stupid thing here is that for countries like Iran it is not hard to find someone with the know how to disable such a feature and if all you want to do is make AK 47's a plug board lathe would be a better tool as they are faster than any CNC that I have seen for simple parts, even turned parts that need some flats or slots milled can be done faster on an old plug board.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2014, 10:23:43 am »
Although GPS would work, with  external antenna if necessary, it would also be spoofable.

Because machines  are reliant on electronics to do all the clever stuff, it would in principle be possible to make it very secure if it was very deeply integrated, but my guess is these machines use a lot of bought-in modules, so would be hard to make an effective add-on that couldn't be bypassed.
In terms of nuisance to legit users, if it was done right, i.e. re-activation over the phone/online at no cost and sensible time limits to allow local moves, then it wouldn't be a major problem.
However I wouldn't be surprised if manufacturers use it as a revenue stream.
Of course you do have the issue of having to have a battery in the "security" device, but this could be managed if designed properly.
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Offline ejeffrey

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2014, 07:29:04 pm »
The real stupid thing here is that for countries like Iran it is not hard to find someone with the know how to disable such a feature and if all you want to do is make AK 47's a plug board lathe would be a better tool as they are faster than any CNC that I have seen for simple parts, even turned parts that need some flats or slots milled can be done faster on an old plug board.

If it is done properly it is hard or impossible to bypass once engaged.  Since the devices we are talking about are so dependent on software, all you have to do is encrypt the software and calibration data.  When you detect motion, delete the decryption key, and require a tech to enter a new key.  This plus some tamperproof interlocks that engage the lockout when you try to open the guts would be pretty hard to bypass.

Also, the purpose is not to stop Iran from making AK-47s.  Nobody believes that is possible.  The purpose is twofold: to restrict Iran's nuclear program, and secondly to restrict development of heavy industry as part of economic sanctions.
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: High end CNC machines lock down when moved - GPS/Gyro sensors
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2014, 12:06:57 am »
Don't forget that the GPS system's original use was primarily US military, and it has two separate usage modes - military and civilian. It wasn't that long ago that the civilian mode was finally switched to the same accuracy as the military mode. Previously it had been deliberately degraded in accuracy.

Anyway, it's also very likely that the GPS system can be deliberately drifted on command. If many CNC machines really do use their GPS position to detect when they are transported, and go into a locked mode if they are moved, that also means the machine's owners are effectively hostages of the US mil/gov. Any time the US decided it was time to shut down _all_ the high end CNC machines not under their direct control, they could.

Incidentally, if I was designing a 'movement tripwire' into a CNC machine, I'd use both motion detectors and GPS. With the GPS doing nothing if there was no signal (inside a factory) but averaging position over time when it could get a fix. Like when the machine was outdoors on a truck.

Next question - if high-end CNC machines have GPS built in, do they also have GSM data links installed? Car manufacturers do this, ostensibly to allow monitoring of the vehicle's mechanics for service and maintenance reasons. Why not do the same on a CNC machine worth far more than a car? Never mind that it's a huge security backdoor, right?

It's amusing to see this thread here, and Geoffs posting in it happily, since when I posted some links about the US government mandating GPS always-on position reporting via GSM in new cars, he deleted it. When asked why, he claimed it was some kind of conspiracy theory. Despite that it's nothing of the kind, and most new cars already have this. The gov now wants to make it mandatory for _all_ new cars.

Cars, CNC machines, what's the difference? I'd have thought the main difference is people's lives depend on cars working right, which makes the GPS/GSM backdoor/hacking issue rather more critical in cars.
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