The mysterious death of Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings has prompted some people to speculate that he was killed via remote carjacking technology when his Mercedes sped into a tree in Los Angeles at 150 mph on June 20.
Richard Clarke, former U.S. National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, said Hastings' crash was “consistent with a car cyber attack."
“What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it’s relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, to launch an air bag,” Clarke told The Huffington Post.
While this may sound far-fetched, even coming from a respected source, Forbesmagazine recently demonstrated how easy it is to hack into the numerous CPUs within a car and take control away from the driver (video below).
Forbes journalist Andy Greenburg recently met with two computer professionals who took control of a 2010 Toyota Prius with an Apple MacBook (video below).
"They sent commands from their laptops that killed power steering, spoofed the GPS and made pathological liars out of speedometers and odometers,” wrote Greenberg. “Finally they directed me out to a country road, where [Chris] Valasek showed that he could violently jerk the Prius’ steering at any speed, threatening to send us into a cornfield or a head-on collision.”