Right now, one of the scariest trends in technology is the discovery of security vulnerabilities in cars that can leave them open to hackers.
Wired reported back in July about a flaw that could allow hackers to remotely take over a Jeep and drive it into a ditch. That was possible because the Jeep’s entertainment system connects to the internet, and thus had an IP address that could be accessed.
Now, there’s a new hack which can let people take control of lots of different kinds of cars by sending SMS messages to a common kind of dongle.
Wired reports that security researchers from the University of California at San Diego were able to send text messages that stopped or started the brakes on a Chevrolet Corvette sports car, and also interfered with the windscreen wipers.
Here’s a video that the researchers made to show the hack in action:
The new hack works using something called an OBD2 dongle. It’s pretty common to find cars with an OBD2 dongle — they’re regularly handed out by insurance companies to track cars.
The hackers were limited in what they could do with the Chevrolet Corvette because it prevents the OBD2 device from cutting the brakes at higher speeds. But that’s not to say that other cars will have the same protection.
Metromile, the company behind the model of OBD2 dongle exploited, told Wired that it had issued an update to the devices affected which fixed the flaw.