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Hackers Say Trucking Industry Needs to Step Up Computer Security

Aug 11, 2016 at 12:09 PM CST

The trucking industry needs to take computer security more seriously if it hopes to prevent terrorists and others from using heavy-duty trucks and buses in attacks.

At the USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies in Austin, Texas, earlier this week, researchers Yelizaveta Burakova, Bill Hass and Leif Millar from the University of Michigan detailed how they used a laptop to hack into heavy vehicles to change gauge settings, brake operations and acceleration controls.

In a video, the research team members demonstrated how they caused a truck to accelerate by pressing on the space bar on the computer.

“These (trucking) companies need to start looking at computer security as a potential safety issue like they look at making sure air bags work properly,” Burakova said. “It all needs to go into the same level of priority.”