Driverless Cars Could Be Taken Over by Auto Hackers

There is a lot of test­ing being done late­ly on how hack­ers can take con­trol away from the dri­ver. Hope­ful­ly this won’t encour­age cyber ter­ror­ists to work hard­er at it!

Read all about a Forbes writer behind the wheel of a 3,500-pound Ford Escape that refus­es to stop or slow down – with two hack­ers cack­ling in the back seat as he tries to gain back con­trol.

There weren’t real hack­ers, and there were on a test run. Char­lie Miller, a secu­ri­ty engi­neer at Twit­ter, and Chris Valasek, direc­tor of secu­ri­ty intel­li­gence at IOAc­tive, have spent the past year try­ing to demon­strate what hack­ers are capa­ble of doing these days. They received an $80,000-plus grant from the Pentagon’s research arm called the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

These days, just about every US car­mak­er offers a cel­lu­lar ser­vice or WiFi net­work – GM’s OnStar, Toyota’s Safe­ty Con­nect, and Ford’s SYNC, are exam­ples. That’s where the hack­ers may gain access.

For those afraid of being inside a dri­ver­less car and hav­ing it tak­en over by a psy­cho com­put­er sys­tem or hack­er, there is some­body who agrees with that con­cern. A hack­er who goes by the name of Zoz par­tic­i­pat­ed at the Def­Con hack­er con­fer­ence in Las Vegas. While he’s fas­ci­nat­ed with every unmanned, robot­ic device, he knows it’s all vul­ner­a­ble. “But, like every­thing else humans ever made, it’s going to get hacked,” he said.

Dri­ver­less cars rely on sen­sors to avoid hit­ting oth­er objects – sen­sors, laser range find­ers, cam­eras, iner­tial mea­sure­ment units, wheel sen­sors, and more.

This is part of the prob­lem – these sen­sors can be tricked to run that dri­ver­less car into a wall, anoth­er car, or off the road. When you’re talk­ing about an advanced vehi­cle like Google’s dri­ver­less car, the attrac­tion is there for hack­ers. Stay tuned for more…..





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