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The most deadly hacking target yet: Your car

Published Jul 25th, 2013 1:00PM EDT
Car Software Hacking Steering Brakes

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Here’s something that should sober enthusiasts of self-driving cars. Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg has been hanging out with hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who have come up with their most terrifying hacking target yet: a car’s software. Greenberg says that the two hackers have “reverse-engineered enough of the software of the Escape and the Toyota Prius (both the 2010 model) to demonstrate a range of nasty surprises: everything from annoyances like uncontrollably blasting the horn to serious hazards like slamming on the Prius’ brakes at high speeds.” Even worse, Miller and Valasek have shown they’re able to take control of a car’s steering functionality so they can drive it into a ditch, a wall or just about anywhere they choose. In other words, they’ve found a way to transform cars into their own personal weapons. Greenberg says that the two hackers will present their unsettling findings to Defcon in Las Vegas next month.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.


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