The hackers said they can, “force a Toyota Prius to brake suddenly at 80 miles an hour, jerk its steering wheel, or accelerate the engine.”
(Reuters) – Car hacking is not a new field, but its secrets have long been closely guarded. That is about to change, thanks to two well-known computer software hackers who got bored finding bugs in software from Microsoft and Apple.
Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek say they will publish detailed blueprints of techniques for attacking critical systems in the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape in a 100-page white paper, following several months of research they conducted with a grant from the U.S. government.
The two “white hats” – hackers who try to uncover software vulnerabilities before criminals can exploit them – will also release the software they built for hacking the cars at the Def Con hacking convention in Las Vegas this week.
They said they devised ways to force a Toyota Prius to brake suddenly at 80 miles an hour, jerk its steering wheel, or accelerate the engine. They also say they can disable the brakes of a Ford Escape traveling at very slow speeds, so that the car keeps moving no matter how hard the driver presses the pedal.
“Imagine what would happen if you were near a crowd,” said Valasek, director of security intelligence at consulting firm IOActive, known for finding bugs in Microsoft Corp’s Windows software.