Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Hackers tap into ECU to kill engine, brakes and more

Recommended Posts

Filed under: Safety, Technology


During the 17 years this writer worked on braking and stability control systems, we occasionally joked about being able to remotely update the software in people's vehicles and bring them to a halt. At that time, the technology didn't really exist to actually do that. Today that's no longer true. Researchers the Universities of California and Washington will present a paper at a security conference in Oakland, California next week outlining how they were able to hack into vehicle computer systems.

When electronic control units were first added to cars in the 1970s, the firmware was all in masked read-only-memory that couldn't be modified once it fabricated. In the late 1990s, as systems became more complex, engineers began using flash memory so that firmware could be updated with bug-fixes and other changes. With most current vehicles you have to be plugged into the OBD-II diagnostic port in order to communicate with the ECUs, which are now connected over a vehicle-wide controller area network.

Now that we're starting to move into the age of connected vehicles, the risks are rapidly increasing. OnStar already has the ability to remotely slow a stolen vehicle. Ford is currently demonstrating Fiestas that can download applications and communicate with the vehicle systems to broadcast vehicle information. Without putting adequate security into vehicle ECUs, it's possible that someone could download a malicious application with the potential to disable or otherwise damage the vehicle.

[source: PC World]

Hackers tap into ECU to kill engine, brakes and more originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 16 May 2010 12:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments


autoblog?i=AGY9ylJSV28:T_1K_7IeS0s:wF9xT autoblog?i=AGY9ylJSV28:T_1K_7IeS0s:V_sGL

View the full article

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Who's Online   1 Member, 1 Anonymous, 18 Guests (See full list)

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets



Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.