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Hackers Could Remotely Disable Your Car's Brakes, Report Finds

Hacked car
As cars are increasingly equipped to wirelessly access the Internet, the potential for security breaches grows. According to The New York Times, computer security researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have proven in a study that it's possible to remotely control many of a car's functions by hacking its computer. The researchers were able to remotely disable the brakes, apply the brakes, shut off the engine and more. While they wouldn't identify the make or model, the researchers confirmed in the study that they used two types of newer cars in both the lab and field.

UCSD researcher Stefan Savage compared this security problem with the one faced by the PC industry as it became increasingly wireless and networked. In the early days, there weren't enough safeguards in place to prevent hacks. "We found ourselves thinking we should try to get in front of this before it suddenly becomes an issue," he told the Times, speaking about security flaws in car computer networks. The researchers were also able to show that hackers could manipulate the car's computers to destroy any evidence of hacking in the first place.

Of course, your vehicle would have to be connected via wireless services like OnStar to be susceptible to an attack, but many newer models are being shipped with built-in wireless positioning and remote diagnostic systems. Fortunately, we're not too worried. We haven't been able to afford a new car in years. [From: The New York Times, via: Engadget]

Tags: brakes, car, car hacking, CarHacking, cartech, computer, engine, hack, hacking, OnStar, research, safety, security, top, web