Automotive takeover schemes to be detailed at Defcon hacker conference

Darren Murph
D. Murph|07.28.13

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Automotive takeover schemes to be detailed at Defcon hacker conference

It's not like Toyota hasn't already faced its fair share of Prius braking issues, but it appears that even more headaches are headed its way at Defcon this week. Famed white hats Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek are preparing to unleash a 100-page paper at the annual hacker conference in Las Vegas, and notably, hacks that overtake both Toyota and Ford automotive systems will be positioned front and center. The information was gathered as part of a multi-month project that was funded by the US government, so it's important to note that the specifics of the exploits will not be revealed to the masses; they'll be given to the automakers so that they can patch things up before any ill-willed individuals discover it on their own.

Using laptops patched into vehicular systems, the two were able to force a Prius to "brake suddenly at 80 miles an hour, jerk its steering wheel, and accelerate the engine," while they were also able to "disable the brakes of a Ford Escape traveling at very slow speeds." Of course, given just how computerized vehicles have become, it's hardly shocking to hear that they're now easier than ever to hack into. And look, if you're really freaked out, you could just invest in Google Glass and walk everywhere.

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