People in charge have guarded secrets about car fraud and vehicle hacking very seriously until now. Two infamous computer software hackers grew bored finding bugs in the software from the two giants Apple and Microsoft. If the government funds their research, they will publish detailed blueprints of modes for hacking critical systems. Particularly for the Ford Escape and Toyota Prius in a 100-page white paper.
Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller are “white hats” hackers. They look for software vulnerabilities before a criminal finds them. It will release the software for hacking the cars at the Def Con convention in Las Vegas this week.
They revealed that they figured out ways to force a Toyota Prius to suddenly brake at 80 miles per hour. Or wrench the steering wheel and accelerate the engine. They claim they can also disable the brakes on a Ford Escape that is travelling at very slow speeds. No matter how hard the driver presses the brakes the car will not stop.
However, it is not as scary as this car fraud can sound.
They had laptops hooked directly to the car when they were doing their research, so the information they provide will not disclose how to hack into a car network remotely.
The two hope that by providing this data it will encourage other “White Hats” to find more security flaws so car manufacturers can secure them.
“I trust the eyes of 100 security researchers more than the eyes that are in Ford and Toyota,” said Miller. He is a Twitter security engineer known for his research on hacking Apple Inc’s App Store.
The spokesperson for Toyota, John Hanson says they are looking at the reports. He says Toyota has invested heavily in electronic security. But as all manufacturers, new cars do there are still some bugs.
“It’s entirely possible to do,” Hanson said, referring to the newly exposed hacks. “Absolutely we take it seriously”.
The spokesperson for Ford Motor Co Craig Daitch said the company takes the electronic security of its vehicles seriously. According to him, the two men’s hacking methods required them to be inside the vehicle they were trying to manipulate. Otherwise, it would diminish the risk.
“Hackers has not performed this particular attack over the air. However, this is still a for customers and any mass level,” Daitch said.