Imagine driving along minding your own business when all of a sudden your horn goes off and there's no way to stop it. Then your speedometer suddenly moves from 30 to 199 miles per hour. Then you lose your brakes. It's all quite possible, according to Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, two geeks who have been demonstrating what damage can be done by hacking into a car's computer systems. And never mind about the vulnerabilities of self-driving automobiles - cars now in use are equipped with much of the technology that can be hacked into. From Forbes:
This fact, that a car is not a simple machine of glass and steel but a hackable network of computers, is what Miller and Valasek have spent the last year trying to demonstrate. Miller, a 40-year-old security engineer at Twitter, and Valasek, the 31-year-old director of security intelligence at the Seattle consultancy IOActive, received an $80,000-plus grant last fall from the mad-scientist research arm of the Pentagon known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to root out security vulnerabilities in automobiles. The duo plans to release their findings and the attack software they developed at the hacker conference Defcon in Las Vegas next month-the better, they say, to help other researchers find and fix the auto industry's security problems before malicious hackers get under the hoods of unsuspecting drivers.
The video is quite cool - and scary: