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article imageComputer hackers targeting cars to expose vulnerability

By Eduardo Arrufat     Jul 27, 2013 in Technology
London - Two security specialist develop software capable of taking full control of car while being driven. US Government financing the project to root out all possible vulnerabilities.
The definition of hacker has evolved with time from someone who could mess with a system in a positive way and for his own benefit to the most accepted meaning today, more related to computer criminal activities.
Recently Forbes staff Andy Greenberg, accepted the challenge of Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek to be surprised behind the wheel of a Prius. The Toyota car however, was not as it comes out of the local dealer; its electronic and control computer system had been hacked by Miller and Valasek in a demonstration of just how far a programming literate criminal can go. Watch the video above and check how little control of the car Greenberg had as soon as he sat in the driver´s seat.
From the expected window roll up and undesired claxon to more serious ones like seating belt auto tension and the most dangerous one, disabling the braking system. It turns out that DARPA, the mad scientist division of the Pentagon research arm, have been looking into rooting out vulnerabilities in automobiles and provided a grant of more than $80,000 to the duo of developers so they could dig out and gather as much information as possible. They will publish all their findings and the car hacking software they developed in DEFCON Las Vegas next month. “The better to help other researchers find and fix the auto industry’s security problems before malicious hackers get under the hoods of unsuspecting drivers.” They say.
And this problem does not just affect Toyota, almost every new car manufactured in the US have WiFi connectivity, access to Internet and each brand offers its own cellular service like GM OnStar and Ford´s SYNC. Hence, the increased worry from both car makers and government authorities.
More about Hackers, Darpa, Cars, Computers, Toyota
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