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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