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Newer car tech opens doors to CIA attacks

Lucas Mearian | March 13, 2017
Security experts aren't surprised by info from Wikileaks docs about agency efforts

"The flag was two or three years ago when a couple of hackers took over the acceleration and brakes of a car," Scheier said. "If you weren’t woken up then, how is this going to make a difference?"

Based on past behavior, malicious hackers don't typically break into computer systems to harm people; the purpose is to exploit the systems for financial gain, Walsh said. So if the CIA were exploring ways to hack into vehicle computer systems, it wouldn't be for any typical purposes.

"Am I surprised? No," Walsh said. "The idea that you could use hacking into a car to kill someone is something that's been floated around -- but as far as I know we didn't have any conformation that someone who would do it was looking into how to do it."

Schneider isn't surprised, either.

"What do you think the viability is that 20 years ago they looked into ways to manually severe the brake lines of cars and kill people,” Schneier said. "It’s the CIA. It’s their job, so yes, I’m sure they were. I’d be stunned if they weren’t."


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