Hackers often get credit for breaking the computer systems of the world’s leading corporations, but a number of researchers have been working on ways to do more.
Hackers can steal passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information.
They can hack the brains of complex systems, including smart phones, smart TVs and other connected devices.
And they can use those exploits to break into devices in more complex ways.
“The hacking community is a huge and growing community,” says Nick Wansley, founder of Hacktivist.org, a hacker collective in the U.K. He has spent the past few years developing tools to break security holes in connected devices, which can be used to hack into cars.
“If I were going to hack a car, I’d do it with a crowbar,” he says.
But if a car maker or security company wanted to help him, Wansler says he’d be happy to help.
“I have a few ways of getting around these limitations,” he tells Fortune.
One is by simply hacking the system itself.
Wansleys first learned about the concept of “exotic hacks” while working for the U-M engineering school.
He says he first got interested in hacking cars after seeing a video he saw of an electric car driving on a golf course.
“It was very clear that the car was not actually driving, but the driver was just doing a very unusual act,” he recalls.
“We could just see it happening.
So we did a little research and found a couple of articles on this sort of hacking that seemed very interesting.”
The hacker that Wansys is most proud of has been hacking cars since the 1990s, using a variety of methods to hack the vehicle systems.
But the way Wansies exploits work is to simply hack the systems themselves.
Wants a keycard hack Wanses first hack involved accessing a car’s onboard software and getting the driver’s name, license plate number and the car’s serial number.
Once that was done, WANSYS could hack into the car by getting the car to start, stop and start again.
WANSYSON’S FIRST HACK The first time he ever hacked a car was in 1998, when he hacked the system of a Toyota Corolla that he’d found on Craigslist.
WANDSYSON SAYS THAT HIS FIRST HACKE HIT HIS CAR AFTER HE HAD CHEATED THE SYSTEM TO GET TO THE SECRET CODE.
“There was no reason to do this,” he said.
“And I thought, well, I’ll just just do it myself.
So I put the keycard in the ignition, and then I started hacking the computer.
It was a lot easier to do than to figure out how to hack cars.”
The first step was to make sure that the computer system would be in a stable state, Wandsys said.
After all, the car is designed to be constantly in motion, he said, so there’s a lot of power in the engine to drive the car.
But even after that, WANDYS says, he was still hacking the car for fun.
“You can do it for fun,” he told Fortune.
“But if you want to hack, you should at least do it at a level that you know will make you happy.”
He then found a way to access the vehicle’s onboard system.
“So I started getting the vehicle to move, and I was getting it to be on its feet, and it was getting its bearings, and this was very exciting, so I did a lot more of that.
I could see it starting to be able to move again.”
The next step was hacking the engine.
“Once I’d got that going, I was starting to get it to start up,” he added.
“Then I did the same thing with the steering wheel, and once I got that, I got the car going again.
I got it to turn.
I was actually getting the engine working again.”
WANSYNKIS DID THAT MORE THAN 20 TIMES IN A LITTLE UNDER A YEAR, TOGETHER, “I THOUGHT THAT’S A FACTOR THAT IS GOING TO BE HACKING A LOT MORE PEOPLE” WANSSON’s second hack was to get the car started.
“That was a very easy one,” he noted.
But after that the hacking started to take on a life of its own. “
I then went back to hacking the steering system and got the vehicle starting again.
“Because it was working on the steering, the brake, the accelerator, the engine,”
After about a year of doing this, I started to think that this was going to be very, very interesting,” he continued.
“Because it was working on the steering, the brake, the accelerator, the engine,