Can Your Car be Controlled From Afar? Hackers Plan a Demo

Researchers claim they can wirelessly hack the digital network of a car or truck, and they’ll show how easy it is at a conference this summer.

It seems that everything is vulnerable to hackers these days, even our cherished personal sanctuaries: our cars.

Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek said they will wirelessly hack a vehicle’s digital network at this summer’s Black Hat and Defcon security conferences, Wired reports.

“No wires. No mods. Straight off the showroom floor. [Miller] and I will show you how to hack a car for remote control,” Valasek wrote on his Twitter page.

Your car’s digital network is known as the CAN bus and it “influences everything from the vehicle’s horn and seat belts to its steering and brakes,” Wired said.

There’s no word yet on what type of vehicle the researchers will hack, though Miller seems to suggest here that it may be a Jeep.

Remote vehicle hacking is not a new concept. Security experts have been talking about the vulnerability of cars to wireless hackers for the past few years.

I Am The Cavalry,” a grassroots security advocacy group, is pushing for an automobile cybersecurity safety rating system. The group’s proposal is described in an August 2014 letter to automakers.

But Miller and Valasek’s demonstrations this summer “may be the most definitive proof yet of cars’ vulnerability to remote attacks,” Wired said.

The security experts described their demonstration on the Black Hat website.

… we will show the reality of car hacking by demonstrating exactly how a remote attack works against an unaltered, factory vehicle. Starting with remote exploitation, we will show how to pivot through different pieces of the vehicle’s hardware in order to be able to send messages on the CAN bus to critical electronic control units. We will conclude by showing several CAN messages that affect physical systems of the vehicle.

So, just how hackable is your car? Click here to check out Miller and Valasek’s report on the hackability of several vehicle makes and models.

Are you surprised that many vehicles are vulnerable to wireless hacks? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page. And share this article with your Facebook network.

Stacy Johnson

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