A new device that costs only $26 to build can take over your car if it is physically plugged into your vehicle's Controller Area Network (CAN) bus.
Your CAN bus allows computerized devices inside your car to communicate without a host computer, and this new device, called the CAN Hacking Tool or CHT, can control your CAN bus.
The CHT recently made its debut at the DefCon 21 Hacking Conference (video below).
According to Jalopnik.com, once installed in your car, the CHT is controlled via wireless Bluetooth, which would give anyone with a cell phone control over your vehicle.
The developers of the CHT, Alberto Garcia Illera and Javier Vazquez Vidal, claimed they wanted to play with the settings of their cars to get better gas mileage.
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The CHT uses a protocol designed for cars manufactured before 2010, but Vidal and Illera said the CHT could be configured for newer protocols and cars.
While the CHT creators do not have any criminal intent, it is possible that car thieves could use the CHT to control your car's headlights, steering, brakes, locks and alarms, noted the Daily Mail.
“It can take five minutes or less to hook it up and then walk away,” Vidal told Forbes. “We could wait one minute or one year, and then trigger it to do whatever we have programmed it to do.”