Two security experts in the US have demonstrated taking control of two popular models of car, while someone else was driving them, using a laptop.
Speaking to the BBC ahead of revealing their research at security conference Defcon in Las Vegas in August, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek said they hoped to raise awareness about the security issues around increasingly computer-dominated car control.
How They Did It:
The researchers used cables to connect the devices to the vehicles’ electronic control units (ECUs) via the on-board diagnostics port (also used by mechanics to identify faults) inside a 2010 model Ford Escape and Toyota Prius.
Contained within most modern vehicles, ECUs are part of the computer network that controls most aspects of car functionality including acceleration, braking, steering, monitor displays and the horn.
The pair were able to write software which sent instructions to the car network computer and over-rode the commands from the actual drivers of the cars.
Their work, funded by the Pentagon’s research facility Darpa, has so far received a mixed reaction from the manufacturers themselves.
Source: BBC News