This is what remote controlled toy cars looked like when I was a kid. Yes, the control box was connected to the car with a 3-4feet cable… not exactly the level of freedom you get with today’s wireless models.
But it was fun, nevertheless. I wonder if 20-year-old Omar Ramos-Lopez had a toy car when he was a kid. He seems to have found one now.. let me correct that: he seems to have found over 100 remote controlled cars to play with.
The laid-off employee of Texas Auto Center sought revenge and he found it in the Webtech Plus system, which allows dealers to remotely switch off ignition, sound the honk …etc. in the cars of non-paying customers. Our hacker immobilized over 100 cars and triggered their honks in the middle of the night… probably almost as much fun as a crazy SXSW party 🙂
On second thought, it probably wasn’t fun for the drivers whose cars would not start going to work, or whose only remedy against a shrieking honk at midnight was to remove the car battery. But at least they were aware of the presence of the remote device… unlike students and families of Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania (has Lower Merion just become the most famous school district in the US?). The Spy Cam District’s victims had no idea their homes could be monitored using the school issued laptops. (And the school district blew their chances of becoming a hit Reality TV show…)
Talk about remote sensors: I had no idea of the extended capabilities of the smart meter PG&E, the local utility has installed recently. These smart meters were all about remote reporting of consumption, and somehow the utility company forgot to tell us they came equipped with a wireless switch to shut off electricity supply.
Shall I go on? I’m not sure I even want to know how many aspects of our lives can be digitally controlled… all in the name of progress, but dangerous when falling in the wrong hands. 🙁
Uptade: Mike Masnick @ Techdirt:
Good thing he wasn’t fired from a hospital that used internet-connected pacemakers, huh?