Atmel | Bits & Pieces

Oh Flo they didn’t! But they did…  

Just a few months ago, a team of cybersecurity researchers hacked into a diagnostic plug-in device and demonstrated that they could remotely control a vehicle from anywhere. Now, another firm has discovered serious vulnerabilities in a gadget currently in use by more than 2 million motorists: the Progressive Insurance Snapshot. (We’re sure you’ve seen the commercials, but just in case…)

Progressive uses a Bluetooth-enabled dongle as part of its usage-based insurance program to monitor the driving habits of its customers, tracking habits for risk assessment and premium adjustments. The device simply plugs into the OBD-II diagnostic port, collects data on how many miles are driven, what times of day a vehicle is in operation and how hard a driver brakes.

By reverse-engineering that same device, Digital Bond Labs security researcher Corey Thuen recently found a way to gain entry into the vehicle’s network, highlighting flaws that would enable any skilled hacker to unlock and start the car, hijack its steering and…

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