Hackers Targeting Computer on Wheels

Posted: February 12, 2014 in Automobile
Tags: ,

In the last 25 years, automakers have gradually computerized functions such as steering, braking, accelerating and shifting. Electronic gas pedal position sensors, for instance, are more reliable than the old throttle cables. Electronic parts also reduce weight and help cars use less gasoline, nowadays all these stuffs transformed a car into computer on wheels.

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In recent demonstrations, hackers have shown their ability to hack the micro controllers in the vehicle remotely and slam a car’s brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel, even shut down the engine. All cars and trucks contain anywhere from 20 to 70 computers. Hackers can control everything from brakes, accelerator, windows and even the speedometer.

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In one case, a pair of hackers manipulated two cars by plugging a laptop into a port beneath the dashboard where mechanics connect their computers to search for problems. Scarier yet, another group took control of a car’s computers through cellular telephone and Bluetooth connections, the compact disc player and even the tire pressure monitoring system. To be sure, the “Hackers” involved were well-intentioned computer security experts, and it took both groups months to break into the computers. And there have been no real-world cases of a hacker remotely taking over a car.

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As per experts, high-tech hijackings will get easier as automakers give cars full internet access and add computer-controlled safety devices that take over driving duties, such as braking or steering, in emergencies.

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