Security researchers showed the latest phone, home and car hacks in Las Vegas
Smartphones were hacked through chargers, malware and femtocells
Some cameras in computers, toys and smart TVs can be secretly viewed by third parties
If something can connect to a network, it can be hacked. Computers and phones are still popular targets, but increasingly so are cars, home security systems, TVs and even oil refineries.
That was the message at this year’s Black Hat and DefCon computer security conferences, which took place last week in Las Vegas. The annual conferences draw a mix of computer researchers and hackers who present the latest bugs and vulnerabilities they’ve discovered. It’s a combination of public service, business and sport.
These are some of the more popular targets covered at this year’s conferences. By drawing attention to them, the “white-hat” hackers hope to encourage greater security from the various manufacturers and industries, and more vigilance from consumers.
Typically, the presenters inform manufacturers of bugs ahead of their talks so the companies can fix the issues before they are exploited by criminals.
Someone hacking your computer can be an inconvenience. Someone hacking your car can be deadly.
A pair of presentations on hacking cars kicked off the DefCon conference on Friday. Australian hacker Zoz outlined the security issues fully autonomous cars will face and said car-hacking is inevitable.
Autonomous vehicles like cars and drones are essentially robots, and they rely on sensors to operate. He said a hacker could theoretically take complete control of a car over wireless networks or trick its various sensors into feeding a motorist false information about location, speed and the proximity of other cars or objects.
Fully driverless cars are still a few years away, but computerized systems are common in vehicles on the road today. Electronic control units can control a range of car functions, including braking, accelerating and steering. They manage security features, in-car displays and even seat belts.