In this youtube video a hacker claims it is easily possible to mod the infotainment system in his Porsche to run the game Doom using the controls of his car to control the game.

This Gizmodo/Sploid story describes the supposed hack:

A YouTuber going by the name vexal uploaded this video tutorial showing what he claims to be a step-by-step guide to playing Doom on the console screen of a Porsche 911. That would be moderately interesting on its own but as he explains, the cars shifter, horn, accelerator and steering wheel all control the game—meaning you drive while you play.

According to his steps, take a flash drive that contains a single file with the car’s VIN number on it. Insert the drive into the Porsche’s USB slot and start the car. That should take the computer system into debug mode. Then, insert the game (he shows Doom II but says it works with the original as well) and select it on the console screen.

Even if possible this seems like a really insane idea. But the explanation seems simplistic to the point of unbelievability. He seems to claim, for example, that the game will just run once the car is in debug mode despite cars not usually running on Windows. Moreover, the controls on the car just work to control the game with no modifications or mapping to send control signals to the game.

Is it a spoof or is it real?

  • 22
    cars not usually running on Windows that is not a problem. Doom is probably one of the most ported games in existence, given the popularity and that the orignal source has been released under an open source license. People have ran Doom on tons of unusual systems.
    – Zoredache
    Feb 21, 2017 at 18:25
  • 12
    A porsche 911 does actually runs Windows CE - and there is a few ports of Doom to it. While this doesn't mean much regarding the claim, it at least lends a bit more of credibility to it.
    – T. Sar
    Feb 21, 2017 at 19:02
  • 10
    obligatory comic: smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=2158
    – Federico
    Feb 21, 2017 at 22:12
  • 9
    Hoax. From 2:12 on, he slightly (unconsciously) moves the steering wheel, but there is no reaction on-screen until when he "demonstrates" how steering is mapped to movement. And the control inputs and the reactions on screen don't really match. There is a random glitch at 2:48 where they did make a cut to the vid (I assume to cover that bit between screen and control input getting really out of sync until the screen gets conveniently obscured by the head rest), the sequence after that when he is actually driving is not really synced either. (t.b.c.)
    – DevSolar
    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:08
  • 11
    (ctd.) Technically it would be possible (that they are using a x86-compatible hardware in there and that you somehow could get Doom to run on it), but I seriously doubt that things like the horn or the gear shifter would even be wired to the computer system (why should they?), which is why I consider this particular vid a hoax.
    – DevSolar
    Feb 22, 2017 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Is this video legitimate?

This particular video appears to be a hoax:

The video above is a joke that some people seem to not be getting. RIffing off the "you can put Doom on anything" meme, from graphing calculators to printers, YouTube user vexal put together this video showing the three simple steps to getting the classic first-person shooter running on the infotainment screen of a new Porsche 911. It's great, except that this particular hack is purely made up.

The steps are supposedly as follows: Insert a USB key with a single file containing the vehicle's VIN into the infotainment system's USB port and then start the car, putting it in debug mode. Stick a disc (a CD-ROM?) into the car's CD drive. Then choose the game through some sequence of button and screen presses. The car's controls (throttle, steering, shifter) magically turn into Doom controls and you're off.

Other online sources concur:

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but no you cannot run Doom in your Porsche. It might seem like common sense to most, but this video has duped at least a few people into believing it is possible, but careful viewing of the video here will show that this is a gag bit intended for comedy effect, and perhaps to troll a bit.

Is it possible to run Doom on a car?

This is not at all impossible to do. It may only require interacting with the infotainment system's interface (for example, loading a special web page that exploits a browser vulnerability in the system), or it may require removing your dashboard and plugging into the OBD-II debugging interface or CAN bus.

A real-world example is CVE-2018-18203, a bug in certain Subaru systems that allowed arbitrary code execution by plugging in a USB device and exploiting a buggy firmware updater. Arbitrary code execution means you can now run anything on it, as long as the CPU is sufficiently capable. From the NVD:

A vulnerability in the update mechanism of Subaru StarLink Harman head units 2017, 2018, and 2019 may give an attacker (with physical access to the vehicle's USB ports) the ability to rewrite the firmware of the head unit. This occurs because the device accepts modified QNX6 filesystem images (as long as the attacker obtains access to certain Harman decryption/encryption code) as a consequence of a bug where unsigned images pass a validity check. An attacker could potentially install persistent malicious head unit firmware and execute arbitrary code as the root user.

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