New research shows that hackers can control connected cars using text messages

New research shows that hackers can control connected cars using text messages

On Monday, computer security experts at the University of California, San Diego, presented a new research which showed that connected cars can remotely be hacked with the help of text messages. The research was presented at the Usenix computer conference in Washington, D.C.

According to the researchers, the features on connected cars manufactured by different automakers can be controlled remotely by exploiting vulnerabilities in cellular-capable devices - such as insurance trackers devices and driving efficiency tools - which are sometimes plugged into the OBD-II ports of the vehicles.

To demonstrate how connected cars can be remotely hacked using text messages, the security experts hacked a Corvette touting a commonly-used Mobile Devices dongle through everyday text messages. The hack enabled the security experts to turn on the wipers of the compromised Corvette and even disable its brakes.

About the fact that connected cars can be remotely hacked through text messages, the security experts said that the cellular-capable dongles plugged into the cars' ports connect to the same cellular network as the mobile phones. As such, these devices can easily receive text messages.

About the potential security risk posed by cellular-capable dongles, Stefan Savage - an Engineering professor at UC, San Diego - said: "We take these devices far too lightly. This is a class of device that should be considered the same way we consider a medical device. It's a dangerous object that needs to be designed with care."