Toyota Prius Controlled by Hackers

Toyota Prius ECU 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
You might want to be more careful with your Toyota Prius after you read this, as slashed tires is not the worst case scenario that can happen if someone envies your green lifestyle.
Attackers can now hit in a more sneaky way as some programmers are claiming to be able to hack into a Prius’ computer and control it from distance. The system probably works on other new vehicles too, as automakers are offering new internet-using gadgets in their cars for customers to use different functions from a distance. And if the owner can control some functions on their car via the internet, hackers will find a way to do more and even take control of the whole vehicle.

According to Charlie Miller, a security engineer at Twitter, and Chris Valasek of IOActive security firm, they were able to steer a Toyota Prius and even disable its brakes. The hacking is done by connecting a small device to the vehicle’s OBD plug. Once the reprograming is complete, the box can be disconnected without leaving any trace. Next, hackers can send commands to the vehicle via the internet, being able to apply the brakes, disengage them, use the headlamps, the horn and other functions.

Although the demonstration was done from the Prius’ back seat on a closed road, researchers said that due to the newest vehicles’ technology that basically makes them computers on wheels with internet access, they can be hacked from distance. So you might want to double check if you’ve closed your car properly, or put it in the garage if you have one. See the video bellow for the demonstration.

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