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Article Data
Article Ref
3989-QOXM-1721
Written By
Andrew Jensen
Date Created
Sat, 9th Feb 2013
Updated By
Cindy Myers
Date Modified
Tue, 18th Oct 2016
 
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   Locking FAQ

Question 

This FAQ contains many questions relating to locking of vehicle controllers with EFILive.

Answer 

What is the difference between EFILive's Serial Numbers and License Numbers?

Each FlashScan and AutoCal device has a serial number and a license number. The Serial Number in EFILive’s devices should not be confused with the serial number in vehicle controllers. They are two very different numbers with two very different purposes.

The EFILive Serial Number is a 12 digit number that uniquely identifies a single FlashScan or AutoCal device. No two EFILive devices will ever have the same Serial Number.

The EFILive License Number is a 12 digit number that uniquely identifies a set of devices. Multiple devices can and do have the same license number.

A license number can be thought of as a unique number that identifies all the devices that are owned or controlled by a single entity (i.e. a tuning shop).

When AutoCal devices are linked to a FlashScan device, the FlashScan's License Number is copied into the AutoCal's License Number.

When a tuning workshop purchases multiple FlashScan devices each device has the same License Number.


Why do some devices have the same License Number?

Some EFILive security features use a device's License Number to generate secret keys that can be used to lock controllers. It is convenient for workshops to be able to unlock controllers using any of their FlashScan devices and not just the device that was used to lock the controller. If all their devices have the same License Number then any of those devices can be used to lock or unlock a controller.


What is Locking?

Locking refers to the security system built into most vehicle controllers. Most controllers' security systems employ a simple seed/key system to prevent unauthorized access to the controller's operating system and/or calibrations.

Many tuners protect their tunes by locking controllers using a custom key (a 5 digit number in the range 1..65534) which prevents anyone who does not know that custom key from accessing the controller's calibrations.

On most controllers locking not only prevents the controller's calibrations from being accessed but also prevents new calibrations being flashed into the controller.


What is EFILive Manual-Locking?

Manual-Locking as the name suggests is a feature of the EFILive software that allows tuners to manually lock a controller using a specific key.
The key can be provided by the tuner or the tuner can allow the FlashScan device to choose a secret key.

If the key is provided by the tuner, the tuner must record that key somewhere because that key will be required to unlock the controller in future.

If the key is generated by FlashScan, then only FlashScan devices with the same License Number can be used to unlock the controller.


What if I forget the key?

When a controller is Manually-Locked, an encrypted copy of the seed and key is saved in a file called: \Program Files\EFILive\V7.5\Configuration\PCMLocks.ini. Use the V8 software option [F8: Tools] -> F5 Keys to recover those keys. This option cannot be used to recover Auto-Locking keys.


What is EFILive Auto-Locking?

Auto-Locking is an EFILive exclusive feature that allows tuners to automatically lock controllers when flashed with a protected tune file and to automatically unlock controllers when flashed with a non-protected tune file.

Auto-Locking is implemented using two distinct methods, dependent on the controller type.  The two methods are:

  • BootLocker.
  • EFILocker COS Patch.


What controllers are supported with Auto-Locking?

Currently the E38, E67, E78, E39, E39A, E92, E80, E40, LS1B, E54, E60, E98, T43, T87 and A50 controllers are supported with Auto-Locking using two distinct processes which is dependent on controller type:

  • BootLocker - supported on E38, E67, E40, LS1B, E54, and E60 controllers.
  • EFILocker COS Patch - supported on E78, E39, E39A, E92, E80, E98, T43, T87 and A50 controllers. 

Auto-Locking will be supported on additional controllers in the future.

Where the controller remains in use in 2017+ model year, locking is not available due to GM security changes.


How do I protect a tune file so that the target controller will be locked when it is flashed?

BootLocker:

Auto-Locking for controllers using the BootLocker implementation may be applied to tune files in 3 ways;

  • V8 Scan and Tune using the [F3: Tune] -> [F4: Properties] via the [Security Restrictions] tab.
  • V8 Scan and Tune via the [F5: BBX] -> [F6: Quick Setup] feature.
  • V7 Tune tool via the [Permissions] tab.

Check the "Cannot be Viewed or Modified" option to prevent unauthorized access to the file by any software package.

Check the "Auto-Lock Controller During Flashing" option to cause the target controller to be locked when this file is flashed into it.

To save the file with any security restrictions active requires a FlashScan device be connected to the PC. The security restrictions can only be removed from the file when that same FlashScan device is connected to the PC.

EFILocker COS Patch:

Auto-Locking for controllers using the EFILocker implementation may be applied to tune files by applying the EFILocker Custom OS Patch using the V7.5 Tuning tool software.

Check the "Cannot be Viewed or Modified" option to prevent unauthorized access to the file by any software package.

Check the "Auto-Lock Controller During Flashing" option to cause the target controller to be locked when this file is flashed into it.  NOTE: For the controller to be locked, this file MUST BE FULL FLASHED in the first instance.

To save the file with any security restrictions active requires a FlashScan device be connected to the PC. The security restrictions can only be removed from the file when that same FlashScan device is connected to the PC.

Refer to the EFILocker COS Patch.pdf for step by step instructions and successful locking flash combinations. 

Where the controller remains in use in 2017+ model year, locking is not available due to GM security changes.


How do I un-protect a tune file so that the target controller will be un-locked when it is flashed?

BootLocker:

Auto-Locking for controllers using the BootLocker implementation can be removed from tune files in 2 ways;

  • V8 Scan and Tune using the [F3: Tune] -> [F4: Properties] via the [Security Restrictions] tab.  Click on the [Clear all Security Restrictions] button.
  • V8 Scan and Tune via the [F5: BBX] -> [F6: Quick Setup] feature.  Right click on the tune file and select the [Reset Security Restrictions] option.

To reset the security restrictions requires the same FlashScan device be connected to the PC that was used to set the security restrictions.

The controller becomes unlocked when a tune file without the Auto-Locking restriction is flashed.

We recommend sending unprotected stock tunes to your customers to unlock their controllers. It would defeat the purpose of Auto-Locking if you were to reset the security restrictions on your modified tune files to send to your customers.

EFILocker COS Patch:

Auto-Locking for controllers using the EFILocker implementation cannot be removed from tune files.  A new tune file, without EFILocker applied must be FULL FLASHED into the controller to remove Auto-Locking.

We recommend sending unprotected stock tunes to your customers to unlock their controllers. It would defeat the purpose of Auto-Locking if you were to reset the security restrictions on your modified tune files to send to your customers.

Refer to the EFILocker COS Patch.pdf for step by step instructions and successful un-locking flash combinations.


If I have previously locked a controller using Manual-Locking, can it be Auto-Unlocked?

No. You must first manually unlock the controller.


Can a controller that has been Auto-Locked be unlocked using Manual-Locking?

No. However, any controller can be eventually unlocked given enough time and the right resources and skill level.


Can I use my FlashScan V1 cable for Auto-Locking?

No. Auto-Locking is only available with the V8 software and FlashScan V1 is not supported by the V8 software.


Can I use Auto-Locking when sending tunes to customers with AutoCal devices?

Yes, but only if those AutoCal's are linked to your FlashScan V2.


Can I use Auto-Locking when sending tunes to a customer with a FlashScan V2 device?

Yes.


If a customer comes into my shop with a controller that has been Auto-Locked can I unlock it?

Prior to and including V8.2.2 build 224:
If it was Auto-Locked by any of your FlashScan devices (that share the same License Number) or by any of your Linked AutoCals, then yes you can.
If it was Auto-Locked by another tuner's FlashScan or by any one of that other tuner's Linked AutoCals, then no you can not - unless the customer also has his AutoCal device that was used to Auto-Lock the controller.

After and including V8.2.2 build 225:
Yes you can auto-unlock any controllers that were auto-locked using build 225 or later.


If a customer who has an Auto-Locked controller contacts EFILive and claims to have accidentally locked his controller, can EFILive unlock it?

Yes, EFILive can unlock the controller but only by providing a stock tune file that will overwrite the protected tune file that is currently Auto-Locked in the controller. Under no circumstances will EFILive unlock the controller without erasing the tune in the controller.