by Shepard Ambellas
Now it looks as if ‘vehicle security’ will be a new trending concern after the recent fiery death of reporter Michael Hastings who was “onto a big story”and needed to “go off the rada[r] for a bit.”, according to an email sent to members of the press and Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs.
According to Huffington Post the email read;
Subject: FBI Investigation, re: NSA
Hey (redacted names) — the Feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates.” Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.
Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit.
All the best, and hope to see you all soon.
Hastings was considered by some a mainstream reporter who was ‘going against the grain’.
It is now widely speculated that Hastings was possibly murdered by remote takeover of his car’s controls.
In fact a new report from the University of California shows that vehicles are prone to hack attacks and could pose a safety risk.
John Markoff reporting for the New York Times wrote, “Their latest study was the first time that independent computer security researchers have tried to show how potential attackers could hack into a car from a remote location.
As in their first experiment, the research teams bought a car they described as a representative example of a moderately priced sedan. (They declined to identify the brand, saying that advanced telematics are rapidly becoming commonplace within the automotive industry.)
“In the case of every major manufacturer, if they do not have this capacity in their mainstream products, they’re about to,” said Tadayoshi Kohno, an assistant professor in the department of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington.
For example, services like General Motors’ OnStar system, Toyota’s Safety Connect, Lexus’s Enform, Ford’s Sync, BMW’s Assist and Mercedes Benz’s Mbrace all use a cellular connection embedded in the vehicle to provide a variety of automated and call center support services to a driver. These subscription services make it possible to track a car’s location, unlock doors remotely and control other functions.
In their remote experiment, the researchers were able to undermine the security protecting the cellular phone in the vehicle they bought and then insert malicious software. This allowed them to send commands to the car’s electronic control unit — the nerve center of a vehicle’s electronics system — which in turn made it possible to override various vehicle controls.
“These cellular channels offer many advantages for attackers,” the report said. “They can be accessed over arbitrary distance (due to the wide coverage of cellular data infrastructure) in a largely anonymous fashion, typically have relatively high bandwidth, are two-way channels (supporting interactive control and data exfiltration), and are individually addressable.”
Others such as YouTuber, Mark Dice, have chimed in on this issue as well. Dice outlined in a recent video how it has been public knowledge for over 2 years that vehicle hacking is possible.
Dice offered his opinion on the Michael Hastings situation in the video by asking the question: “Did the feds hack into his (Michael Hastings) car crashing it into a tree head-on?”
“Is this the latest new method of assassination?”, Dice asked.
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