When meeting a duo of computer hackers for the very first time, we imagine hearing the words "We want to convince you that we can hurt you – without hurting you," is bound to release the hounds of anxiety upon your mental makeup. At least, it would ours. And it's those words, uttered by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek to Forbes staff reporter Andy Greenberg, that introduce us to the reality that modern-day cars can indeed be hacked.

The next frightening step down the rabbit hole, which is outlined in the video below, involves entering into a Toyota Prius that looks like a science project gone wrong – missing dash, wires hanging down and a laptop computer hiding in the back seat. It's kind of like being a human marionette puppet with the strings held high above by Dr. Frankenstein's tech-geeky grandson. In other words, "Are you guys both buckled up?" is no longer a friendly safety-minded reminder, it's a scared-for-my-life requirement.

See how these two hackers earned a bunch of money from the US government trying to hack into a couple of cars in the video below. And keep your tinfoil hats close by.


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  • 53 Comments
      mapoftazifosho
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ya'll do realize it's still any idiot can cut brake lines, right?
      jallen
      • 2 Years Ago
      The government could use this technology to kill people and make it look like an accident.
        flychinook
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jallen
        "interesting, just before the crash he accidentally took apart his dashboard, accidentally hooked up some wires to the car, accidentally wrote some code on the computer, then accidentally connected a laptop to it all" Give me a break. if the gov wanted to kill you, they could just break into your house and put some golf balls or cooking oil on the stairs
          OnTheRocks
          • 2 Years Ago
          @flychinook
          If they wanted to kill you, they would come up with some BS warrant, send the tactical team into your house, and straight up murder you as you were "resisting".
        bK
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jallen
        The Britons have already done it to one of their royal family...
          • 2 Years Ago
          @bK
          [blocked]
        lars.vestman@gmail.com
        @jallen
        Like they did with Michael Hastings a few weeks ago.
      AKK
      • 2 Years Ago
      Could someone please change the title on this post? I know you're trying to get more people to read it, but it's totally misleading. As everyone else has commented, it's not exactly hacking and I'm not sure how this poses danger to anyone. The only option I see is if a wireless transmitter/receiver were intentionally wired to someone's ECU, and then someone controlled it remotely ... which I suppose would be hacking. But seriously, couldn't they just cut your brake lines or puncture the gas line going into the engine?
      Jake S
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now imagine millions of autonomous cars zipping along the freeways of America (like Google wants) and some hackers in the Ukraine deciding to take over all the cars and have them accelerate to top speed, brakes disabled, steering disabled... I think I\'ll keep my \'78 Fiat.
      LukkyStrike
      • 2 Years Ago
      to be honest, they picked a wrong car to do this with. Any car with radar controlled brakes or speed control and park assist would create a perfect car to control remotely. They would have all the necessary components to run the car down the street including a camera. As for tearing the car apart, this actually has to do with the many computers involved, if automakers would set up a vehicle to run all components from one computer, they would be able to do this from the CAN bus, but since they are split up, it is much harder to do. Even though everything may register on one ECU, the one generally talked to through the OBD, it does not give them the ability to manipulate each separate ECU. This has a lot to do with the safety concerns of setting up all the systems to run through one ECU. now when we do run "Google cars" we will be at risk since each and every ECU would be wired to a central computer to be the "brain". This currently does not exist yet, but does pose a problem. IF they were able to remotely control the system from the outside, but they would still need access to the car prior to hack the system. But knowing the Automakers, one would want to set up external systems, think ONSTAR, that would allow access to these components which would be able to allow an entry point. But right now a car is still a computer without internet, isolated, even in the case of ONSTAR, you could start and unlock the car, but i believe that you still need the key prior to driving away. (due to the RFID tags in the keys). and ONSTAR is a small program on the wrong ECU.
      bK
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is scary how DARPA is funding this...
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      pickedapeckofpickled
      • 2 Years Ago
      CAN bus.
      jphyundai
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very scary indeed.
      GearheadGeek
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, is this a wireless hack that can be perpetrated from outside the car? Or is it just the result of screwing around with the data bus in the car while physically plugged into it? The former would be of significant concern, the latter isn't even surprising.
      ihatedavebushell
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't believe we as tax payers funded this crap, so they plugged a laptop in the can bus of a car, the protocols and information to interface is commonly on the internet, the cable costs 20 bucks on ebay and lots of companies make money making devices that interface and talk to the can bus of cars to do various things aftermarket. So basically we paid these clowns to do what lots of people already know how to - it isn't even hacking, it is just following instructions to talk to the car.
        AB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ihatedavebushell
        All they did was make more people aware of it. Its the masses who are uninformed. Now they are, and we will probably see more people trying this out and probably causing more trouble.
          Dan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AB
          AB, I\'m pretty sure that anyone with the skills and inclination to do this already knows about it, so I doubt there\'s any harm done.
      Archonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well no shiyet. "You can make a car unsafe by pulling the whole thing apart and messing with it!"
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