Add cars to the menu for hackers at DEF CON

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – At a conference where hackers can try their hand at picking locks and discover cyber vulnerabilities in a makeshift hospital, they can also endeavor to break into the control units of cars and take over driving functions. Attendees who visited the car hacking site had to escape a vehicle by deciphering the code to open its trunk, control its radio volume and speed, and lock the doors through their computers. Volkswagen AG, Fiat Chrysler and suppliers Aptiv PLC and NXP Semiconductors NV were among the sponsors of this year’s car hacking village – as some have done at previous DEF CON conventions. Known for its sprawling resorts and casinos, Las Vegas once a year becomes the gathering place for tens of thousands of cybersecurity enthusiasts who attend DEF CON and the preceding corporate Black Hat conference. The conference provides a rare opportunity for enthusiasts to learn about car hacking, a resource-intense research field that requires specialized knowledge and lots of preparation.

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