28 Jul 2011

Latest hacking threat - your car

By now most people are aware of threats to not only their computers but their phones and other mobile devices by hackers and malware. But now it appears another machine may be in harm's way - their car.

News reports indicate that at this year's Black Hat Security Conference, held next week in Las Vegas, two researchers will show that it's possible to remotely unlock a car, start its engine and locate the vehicle through GPS by accessing the apps some drivers use on their cell phones.

A variety of apps currently exist that allow users to do everything from check how much gas is in their tank to starting the engine. But Don Bailey, one of the researchers who found the vulnerability in these apps, says this only scratches the surface of possible threats.

"What I got in two hours with the car alarm is pretty horrifying when you consider other devices like this, such as SCADA systems and traffic-control cameras," Bailey said in an interview with Dark Reading. "How quick and easy it is to re-engineer them is pretty scary."