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Car Hackers 'Take Control' Of Toyota Prius

Published: Tuesday 30th of July 2013 | Author: Naidre | Category: Brakes

Programmers claim they have "hacked" into a car's computer system and taken control of some of the vehicle's most important functions.

Charlie Miller, a security engineer at Twitter, and Chris Valasek, who works at security firm IOActive, said they were able to steer a Toyota Prius and switch off its brakes by installing a device under the wheel.

They said the gadget could be placed in the car by anyone with a "brief moment of physical access" and claimed that once key safety features had been reprogrammed, the box could be disconnected, leaving no evidence that the vehicle had been hacked.

"We had full control of braking," Mr Valasek said. "We disengaged the brakes so if you were going slow and tried to press them, they wouldn't work.

"We could turn the headlamps on and off and honk the horn. We had control of many aspects of the automobile."

The research comes at a time when manufacturers are installing increasingly complicated computer systems, offering drivers access to web services. Some companies are also experimenting with self-drive technology pioneered by the likes of Google.

However, a spokesman for Toyota said that it was impossible to gain access to its cars' systems remotely and said the computers it uses are "robust and secure".

He added: "Toyota has developed very strict and effective firewall technology against such remote and wireless services.”

If you need your car brakes looking at by a garage you can trust, then give your local Concorde Auto Centre a call.  We have branches in Leicester, Peterborough and Wisbech with Norwich coming soon.  

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RICKY - 31 Oct 2014

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