Scambook Warns Drivers at Risk of Car Hacking

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Scambook, the Internet’s leading consumer advocacy platform, wants to warn car owners that the same hackers who have been stealing private information for identity theft for numerous years may soon figure out how to access a car’s navigation system. Researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek looked into the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape systems and found it does not require much authentication or proof of identity to connect by way of a network, gaining full access to a car’s features.

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It's extremely alarming hackers may be able to easily ‘daisy-chain’ their way into cars’ control systems via Bluetooth, acquiring access to key features such as the steering wheel to control it independently.

Scambook, the Internet’s leading consumer advocacy platform, wants to warn car owners that the same hackers who have been stealing private information for identity theft for numerous years may soon figure out how to access a car’s navigation system. Researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek looked into the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape systems and found it does not require much authentication or proof of identity to connect by way of a network, gaining full access to a car’s features.*

“It's extremely alarming hackers may be able to easily ‘daisy-chain’ their way into cars’ control systems via Bluetooth, acquiring access to key features such as the steering wheel to control it independently,” said Kase Chong, Scambook’s Director of Marketing.

Similar tactics have been used in prior security research such as that of Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas, who hacked the GPS system of a drone. Since then, researchers were also able to use the same techniques to remotely hijack a 210-foot super yacht.**

Extreme Tech explains that “with just a laptop, a small antenna, and a GPS ‘spoofing’ device, the team fed a stronger signal to the yacht’s steering system than the genuine one, incoming from actual GPS satellites. By doing this, they essentially tricked the ship’s computer into believing it was somewhere it was not, causing it to adjust its heading to stay on course.”***

Although, only a theoretical threat, Scambook wants to warn consumers about the future of car hacking where anyone’s car can be accessed through Bluetooth or GPS. The issue will be presented on at the Def Con security convention in Las Vegas in hopes of addressing these security concerns before hackers can perfect their techniques.

For more information about the latest scams affecting consumers, please visit the Scambook.com/blog.

ABOUT SCAMBOOK
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.

*MSN Now, "Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek Have Hacked a Car with their Laptop," http://now.msn.com/charlie-miller-and-chris-valasek-have-hacked-a-car-with-their-laptop, 8/7/2013

**Mixon, Melissa, "Todd Humphreys' Research Team Demonstrates First Successful GPS Spoofing of UAV," http://www.ae.utexas.edu/news/archive/2012/todd-humphreys-research-team-demonstrates-first-successful-gps-spoofing-of-uav, 7/14/2012

***Templeton, Graham, "Hackers Hijack a Super Yacht with Simple GPS Spoofing and Planes Could Be Next," http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/162462-hackers-hijack-a-super-yacht-with-simple-gps-spoofing-and-planes-could-be-next, 7/29/2013

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Judy Dixon
PMBC Group
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