Control: A Car’s Electronics Can Be Taken Over Remotely

Control: A Car’s Electronics Can Be Taken Over Remotely
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“Researchers at the University of California (UDSD), San Diego and University of Washington have shown that computer hackers could gain remote access to a car and take over the vehicle’s basic functions including control of the engine. The hackers accessed the car through the vehicle’s built-in cellular connections and Bluetooth wireless technology, enabling them to track the car’s location, eavesdrop on the cabin, and steal vehicle data. “This report explores how hard it is to compromise a car’s computers without having any direct physical access to the car,” says UCSD professor Stefan Savage. Services such as General Motors’ OnStar system, Toyota’s Safety Connect, Lexus’ Enform, Ford’s Sync, BMW’s Assist, and Mercedes Benz’s Mbrace all use a cellular connection embedded in the vehicle to provide a variety of automated and call center support services to a driver. These cellular channels “can be accessed over arbitrary distance [due to the wide coverage of cellular data infrastructure] in a largely anonymous fashion, typically have relatively high bandwidth, are two-way channels [supporting interactive control and data exfiltration], and are individually addressable,” Savage says.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/business/10hack.html