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Hackers Can Remotely Control Your Car with an Inexpensive Device

The short answer to that question is 'yes', especially if you have a recent model year car.  There is so much technology built into cars nowadays which were meant to benefit the consumers and the manufacturers, but it also creates a loopholes for the hackers to gain unauthorized access.

It seem that there isn't one universal device that can gain control of you car, but some of the more popular systems used for major car manufacturers such as Mercedes, Fords and several other brands can be broken into without too much difficulties.

iSec researchers Don Bailey and Mathew Solnik say they've figured out the protocols that some of these software makers use to remotely control the cars which in turn allows them to unlock a car and turn the engine on via a laptop. The entire process apparently took only two hours to figure out. The method is known as “war texting” which is supposedly similar to the concept of “war driving” where hackers drive about looking for data on wireless networks. It’s apparently a rather complex method which involves attempting to figure out what sort of apps the car is using, i.e. OnStar RemoteLink app.

There was a case even three years ago, a 20-year old hacker remotely disabled 100 cars at a dealership.  It wasn't for demonstration purpose, and he was not given any kind of special access to these vehicles.  It turned out to be the dealership installed immobilizer in their vehicles without knowledge of the customers, and a disgruntled former employee hacked into the control application to to not only power down the car, but to make the horns go off in the middle of night.

Most of the news cars have pretty much all the functions of the car linked to the central processing unit; engine throttle, braking, lamps, power windows and doors and so one.

The most recent controversy on this topic came into light again when a famous journalist, Michael Hastings died in a mysterious car accident.  The rumor has it that the hackers seized the control of the car and raced up the engine to the maximum power, causing him to crash into a tree.

The very idea might sound crazy – but it's one that Richard Clarke, a former counter-terrorism adviser to the US National Security Council, has raised after the driver was identified as Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings. Known for his revealing articles on the US military and its intelligence agencies, Hastings had emailed colleagues the day before he died to say that he was going "off the radar for a bit" to chase down a "big story".

"What evidence is available publicly is consistent with a car cyberattack," says Clarke in a Huffington Post interview. Intelligence agencies, he says, can remotely seize control of a car to make it accelerate wildly or brake suddenly, for instance.

The experts already knew that high-tech connected cars can be remotely hacked in, but it lacked actual proof.  That changed when Spanish engineers Javier Vázquez Vidal and Alberto Garcia Illera gave a demonstration at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have built a $25 device that lets them bypass security in a car's electronic control unit.

It is now time that car manufacturers start installing a firewall in every car to protect the control unit.

Hackers Can Remotely Control Your Car with an Inexpensive Device Reviewed by Blogs on 5:27 PM Rating: 5

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