Car Hackers ‘Take Control’ Of Toyota Prius

8 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Car Hackers ‘Take Control’ Of Toyota Prius

Car Hackers ‘Take Control’ Of Toyota Prius

Programmers claim to have taken control of a Toyota Prius but the car company says its systems cannot be accessed remotely.

Programmers claim they have hacked into a car’s computer system and taken control of some of the vehicle’s most important functions.

Charlie Miller, a security engineer at Twitter, and Chris Valasek, who works at security firm IOActive, said they were able to steer a Toyota Prius and switch off its brakes by installing a device under the wheel.

They said the gadget could be placed in the car by anyone with a brief moment of physical access and claimed that once key safety features had been reprogrammed, the box could be disconnected, leaving no evidence that the vehicle had been hacked.

We had full control of braking, Mr Valasek said. We disengaged the brakes so if you were going slow and tried to press them, they wouldn#39;t work.

We could turn the headlamps on and off and honk the horn. We had control of many aspects of the automobile.

The research comes at a time when manufacturers are installing increasingly complicated computer systems, offering drivers access to web services.

Some companies are also experimenting with self-drive technology pioneered by the likes of Google.

However, a spokesman for Toyota told Sky News it was impossible to gain access to its cars#39; systems remotely and said the computers it uses are robust and secure.

He said: The demonstration involved physically connecting a laptop scan tool to the on board diagnostic (OBD II) port and using it to control or override certain functions. A portion of the instrument panel was removed to enable this.

Altered control can only be made when the device is connected. After it is disconnected, the car functions normally.

We don#39;t consider that to be hacking in the sense of creating unexpected behaviour because the device must be connected. The presence of a laptop or other device connected to the OBD II port would be apparent.

Our focus, and that of the entire automotive industry, is to prevent hacking into a vehicle#39;s control system from a remote or wireless device outside of the vehicle.

Toyota has developed very strict and effective firewall technology against such remote and wireless services.

We continue to try to hack our systems and have a considerable investment in state of the art electromagnetic RD facilities. We believe our systems are robust and secure.

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