This brings a whole new meaning to the term "idiot light". You know that tire sensor warning light in your car? Researchers at Rutgers and The University of South Carolina say they may be capable of more than tipping you off to low tire pressure.
That little sensor could be the weak link for hackers to break into your car's electronic control unit and cause all kinds of mischief - from honking your horn (weapon of immaturity?) to shutting down your brake system (I'm not laughing anymore).
So why the tire sensor? It's wireless and could be potentially controlled by someone operating from another car in nearby traffic or in a fixed location as you drive by.
For the wanna-be evil genius, the same research team that will be presenting their findings at the USENIX Security Symposium later this month says pulling off such ill deeds requires about $1500 in gear.
Tire sensors have been required in every vehicle sold since 2008. That being said, don't breathe easy if you drive an older model. My car has one and it's a 2001.
Just to throw a little raw meat to the "Black Helicopter" crowd, it also means someone, in theory, could hack into your car's computer (that ECU thing I mentioned) through the tire sensor and track your car's movements (although it would be so much easier to do so through your cell phone).
Just remember: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they really aren't out to get you.
Have a nice day and please feel welcome to follow me on Twitter @oricchio (I promise it's not a plot to spy on you!)
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