Oh hey, Volvo. We know you're watching.
When you look at many other car manufacturers - VAG, BMW - there are internet wide communities around modification. Spoilers, engine mods, and CODING.
Coding is the practice of changing a few bytes of code in an ECU to enable functionality or features that would otherwise remain inactive. They're all there, readily available for you to activate.
Why? Well it's the most cost effective means for a manufacturer to produce software. Create a single 'build' and deactivate where necessary. Microsoft do similar these days with Windows, functionality is activated based upon the license key you input.
You've been able to 'Code' a Volvo car for a while now. Be that via VDash or via other small businesses. But Volvo didn't seem to care. They were happy with the few making money off the process.
The shift from this appears to have happened when we made things a little more public (read: free), enabling anybody with VIDA access (US based people... or *cough, VPN / Prepaid card cough*) to get their CEM PIN; enable them to modify their Car Config (CARCfg) and upload / flash this to their cars.
Volvo made a fundamental change to VIDA (Online Diag tool) which means that the seed/key pairing are not longer 'captured' in the logs (amongst all the other info hidden info like VBF decryption keys..)
The seed/key were previously in the [Crypt] Lines which could be be decrypted using 3DES; a Secret Key and a IV which can be easily found hard coded in certain Volvo software.
FYI this is the same used for P1-3 so will decrypt old VIDA '14 logs too.. IYKYK ;)
Instead, you'll now find [Crypt] ********** in it's place. Sigh, boo etc. You're getting a redacted line instead. The screenshot above shows the change - and the is another a few lines below 'Message1' > 'Str'.
Simple, but effective. And i really don't blame Volvo. It's a sensible and more 'secure' choice. It doesn't fix the problem mind, anyone with VIDA can STILL get their keys by capturing your Seed / Key pair. Wireshark.
Volvo went nuclear.
Now you'll recall my mention of other manufacturers above. Those still allow you dealership updates and servicing still, they omit the modified ECUs from updates or simply overwrite them with the original config. Volvo dont.
Now, i suspect much of this is inadvertent, they simply havent thought about the wider picture and an engineer is sat somewhere quite chuffed with their work not realising the consequences of what was implemented.
The problem is; now unless your configuration matches EXACTLY of that on the Volvo PIE servers (which store the cars 'actual' configuration) they'll block any kind of service which requires software. And on a Volvo, for right or for wrong, is EVERYTHING.
From reports across the community we're hearing of flummoxed dealers unable to work on cars because they don't match and they're not being presented with a 'revert to original' button. Volvo, you must realise how crazy this is?
What's more, they're even losing dealership servicing revenue. There is literally no reason to take your car to them for annual servicing if you're not getting the software updates (Service 2.0 Updates). You've just lost my customer at a dealer that my last 3 Volvos have been serviced at (Sorry, Gary! Blame Corporate.)
In short; Volvo have implemented a half arsed solution to a problem that isn't really a 'problem'.
They literally have no idea how to undo this at current. If you need servicing for any number of reasons expect 'a ticket has been raised to XXXX' and days minimum without your car.
ENTER the forum if you dare.