| BOSTON, July 22
BOSTON, July 22 Two security experts who a year
ago exposed methods for hacking the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape
say they have developed technology that would keep automobiles
safe from cyber attacks.
At last summer's Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas,
the two researchers, Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller, described
ways to launch dangerous attacks, including manipulating the
brakes of the moving Prius and the Ford Escape.
Valasek told Reuters on Tuesday that he and Miller will show
off a prototype vehicle "intrusion prevention device" at next
month's Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas.
They built the device with about $150 in electronics parts,
though the real "secret sauce" is a set of computer algorithms
that listen to traffic in a car's network to understand how
things are supposed to work. When an attack occurs, the device
identifies traffic anomalies and blocks rogue activity, Valasek
The two well-known computer experts decided to pursue the
project because they wanted to help automakers identify ways to
defend against security vulnerabilities in their products.
"I really don't care if you hack my browser and steal my
credit card," Valasek said. "But crashing a car is life or
death. It is dramatic. We wanted to be part of the solution."
The research the two have released on the Ford and Toyota
cars, as well as work by other experts on different types of
vehicles, has raised concerns that somebody might one day try to
replicate their work to launch a real-life attack.
Yet the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
said in a statement on Tuesday that it is not aware of any
incidents of consumer vehicle control systems having been
The auto industry has beefed up efforts to identify and
mitigate potential cybersecurity risks over the past few years.
"Cyber security is a global concern and it is a growing
threat for all industries, including the automotive," said Jack
Pokrzywa, manager of global ground vehicle standards with SAE
International, a group that represents industry engineers.
Pokrzywa declined to comment on the specifics of the new
technology from Valasek and Miller, though he said "Any viable
solution reducing cyber threats is a step in the right
A representative for Ford said she had no immediate comment
on the device. Officials with Toyota could not be reached for
(Reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston; Editing by Richard
Valdmanis and Dan Grebler)