800px-Hacking_in_progress_at_BarCampLondon_3Nowadays, cars are becoming more and more loaded with applications, offering hackers a whole new range of targets.

Chris Valasec and Charlie Miller, two security experts, funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, have proven how easy would be for a cybercriminal to hack the car’s computer system. The research was done to point out certain security weaknesses that could allow hackers to take control of a car’s operating system and present possible solutions to the companies.

Last summer at the DefCon hacking conference held in Las Vegas, Valasec, director of security intelligence for the security company IOActive, and Miller, security engineer for Twitter, showed off with a live demonstration the ways to manipulate the electronic steering, acceleration, braking system, engine and other functions of Toyota Prius and Ford Escape.

They linked a computer to the data port of a moving car and changed the fuel indicator level and upped the speedometer. It sounds frightening but the remote control of a car is a reality, tomorrow’s hackers won’t need a plug-in cable and they will control the car’s systems remotely.

Valasec assumed that connected cars will add more wireless communications. Intiutively, the more ways to wirelessly communicate with something, the more exposed the system’s surface is, and hence the more attack opportunities there are.

Comparing a vehicle to a computer, the researchers focused on the fact that it is more difficult to ensure the security of the code used in a car’s electronic control units.

The pair revealed the code and the tools that they had used to hack the car’s systems. However, concerns have been raised that some malicious hackers might try to use their tools to launch a real-life attack.

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