Hackers can remotely disable your car's brakes, create sensationalist headlines
We think you're going to be hearing a lot about this one over the next few days... or weeks. A team of researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California San Diego have determined that, with physical access to your car's ECU, a hacker could "adversarially control a wide range of automotive functions and completely ignore driver input -- including disabling the brakes, selectively braking individual wheels on demand, stopping the engine, and so on." For example, the team was able to connect a computer to a car's ODB-II port, access that computer wirelessly, and then disable the brakes in the first car while driving down the road in a separate vehicle. The conclusion is that these in-car systems have few if any safeguards in place and, with physical access, nearly anything is possible. The solution, of course, is to prevent physical access. So, if you see a hacker hanging around in your car looking all shady, or a laptop computer sitting in the footwell that totally wasn't there before, well, you know who to call.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.