Weirdness: Hackers Use NES Pad To Drive Car

All those hours on Rad Racer might come in handy after all

Security experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have demonstrated a method which allows hackers to control a car using a laptop and NES joypad.

The pair have created a system which enables them to connect to a car's electronic control unit (ECU) via the on-board diagnostics port and wrestle control from the driver. A modern car's ECU controls things like acceleration, braking, steering, LED displays on the dashboard and even the car's horn.

Their work — which is funded by Pentagon research facility Darpa — is intended to raise awareness of the increasing dominance of computer systems in modern auto-mobiles. A 2010 model Ford Escape and Toyota Prius were the vehicles "hacked" in the tests.

Speaking about the research, Charlie Miller said:

At the moment there are people who are in the know, there are nay-sayers who don't believe it's important, and there are others saying it's common knowledge but right now there's not much data out there.

We would love for everyone to start having a discussion about this, and for manufacturers to listen and improve the security of cars.

You can see more of the pair's exploits in this video. In the meantime, let's hope they add support for the Power Glove soon — we've been practising on Rad Racer for years.

[via bbc.co.uk, blog.ioactive.com]

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