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Boffins hack a car computer at high speed

Might be able to crash a car
Thu Aug 12 2010, 12:26

BOFFINS who like life in the fast lane have worked out a way to hack into a car's warning systems via wireless sensors.

According to Jalopnik, researchers at the University of South Carolina and Rutgers have managed to spoof the wireless sensors used by tire pressure monitoring systems in wheels.

This technology has been required in all new vehicles in the US since 2008. Hacking it was not easy as they had to work out the secret code to get past the car's control computer. But once they did they could send fake warning messages from 40 metres away.

In one case a test car was warned that a tire had lost all pressure by a signal beamed from another car as both drove 68 mph.

The hacked car usually reset its warnings after the spoofed messages stopped but apparently there was long term damage to the computer..

After two days of tests, the electronic control unit for the tire monitors had to be replaced.

The technology to test the hack cost about $1,500. µ



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