Hackers could attack your car

Modern cars are susceptible to attack from malicious hacks which could be used with fatal consequences.

Using a laptop and custom software, researchers were able to demonstrate how they could fiddle with a car's diagnostic port in order to disable the braking system or switch off the engine even at high speed.

According to the New Scientist, the hack is technically complex and the current risk is low, but car makers are being urged to make vehicles more secure in the future.

Although all of the hacks were carried out using a laptop attached to the car, it doesn't require a huge stretch of the imagination to see a time when a wireless device small enough to be concealed under the dashboard could be developed. Something like an iPhone perhaps?

The researches apparently worked out how to hobble the cars in question by sending random commands to the on-board computers and seeing what happened. They were able to shut off the engine, disable the breaks or even slam on the brakes, all whilst the car was chugging along at 50 mph.

The team also stated that they had been able to carry out the same hacks over the Internet.

With the car industry desperately struggling to claw its way out of the worst economic downturn for generations, the chances of car builders spending a few dollars securing the diagnostics ports in their products is probably slim to none. Until someone dies, that is.

Perhaps a simpler solution would be to make the diagnostic port easily visible on the dashboard rather than hiding it away out of sight.