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Cars hacked through wireless tire sensors

 

14 August 2010 - The tire pressure monitors built into modern cars have been shown to be insecure by researchers from Rutgers University and the University of South Carolina. The wireless sensors, compulsory in new automobiles in the US since 2008, can be used to track vehicles or feed bad data to the electronic control units (ECU), causing them to malfunction.

Researchers proved that they can hack into your car. They hacked into the automotive electronic systems by tapping into the OBD-II port used by mechanics for reading diagnostic codes. At the very least, this requires some form of physical access to the car. For the moment that is!

But a group of researchers from Rutgers University and the University of South Carolina discovered that you can hack into a car's electronics wirelessly, which means any modern vehicle could be vulnerable to an attack at any time, even while it's being driven down the road.

The researchers used a car's tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) as their entry portal. Tire pressure monitoring uses a sensor on each wheel that transmits data over radio frequencies to a vehicle's electronic control unit.

The hack works by sniffing out the signals from the TPMS, and researchers were able to track down two different vehicles and interfere with those signals. Sounds scary now does it? How are cars going to be more secure in the future when most things are controlled by an onboard computer?

source: ars technica

 








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