Researchers to Present Paper on Security Issues in Cars' Computer Systems

Researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego, plan to present a paper in which they describe how computer programs used in automobiles can be manipulated by hackers to take control of braking and other critical systems in cars. The researchers created a tool called CarShark that "can sniff and inject packets on the" Controller Area Network (CAN) system, the diagnostic tool used for all US cars built in 2008 and later. The cyber attackers would need access to a standard diagnostic computer port in the targeted car. In a demonstration last year, the researchers connected a laptop to the targeted car and controlled that car's computer system wirelessly with another laptop in a car close by. The researchers are not trying to scare people, but to drive home the point to automobile manufacturers that they must bake security into the computer systems that accompany new cars. The paper is scheduled to be presented at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy on Wednesday, May 19.;title