Watch a Car Being Hacked Remotely

Wireless car hacking 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Have you seen that game Watch Dogs in which a guy can control a lot of electronic devices remotely via his smartphone? Well it looks like we’re not that far from such a fantasy, as some skillful hackers have now managed to give commands to a vehicle using a laptop and the GSM network.
In a recent episode of Motherboard’s “Phreaked Out” some of the top security researchers, also known as white hat hackers, or do-good hackers, put up a little demonstration on how vulnerable a new car is to someone who really knows what’s happening deep in its bowels.

New cars now are basically a computer on wheels and everything runs on electricity. Almost all systems onboard the vehicle are linked together through a Controller Area Network, or CAN bus. This sends messages from the main computer to the vehicle’s systems in order to operate and vice versa.

Take the accelerator pedal for example. Nope, you don’t actually control the amount of air-fuel mixture that goes in the engine when pressing it with your right foot. You actually tell the computer you want to go faster and from there, it will take care of the process. Oh and by the way, this drive by wire throttle stuff has been wide-spread for over a decade now.

Nobody said it’s easy to hack into a car, but with just over a grand and a month of working, Solnik managed to reverse-engineer a car’s computer to be hacked.

Using a DIY device made of parts available on the market, a third-party telematic control unit, GSM-powered wireless transmitter/receiver and a laptop, the hacker managed to stop the vehicle’s engine remotely, turn it back on and also tell it to lock and unlock its doors.

Of course, the possibilities are endless and ultimately, a skillful hacker can make you crash your car from a mile away if he wants something from you. Check out the video bellow for the detailed version of the story.

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