Nintendo Controller Used to Drive Hacked Cars


Pentagon security experts have demonstrated a system allowing them to drive a car with an NES controller.

Save for the Atari 2600, you’re going to have a hard time finding a game controller simpler than the NES’s. Including the D-Pad it has a paltry five buttons to its name, a mere fraction of its modern equivalents. That being the case, there’s a beauty to its simplicity. It possesses a pick-up-and-play quality that arguably helped countless gamers take their first steps into new digital experiences. Experiences that now include driving a car.

In an attempt to demonstrate the increasing presence and vulnerability of technology in cars, security experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek recently devised a hack that allowed them, with the aid of a laptop, to take control of a car and then drive it with an NES controller. With their system in place they were able to manipulate everything from acceleration, breaking and steering right down to the dashboard displays and the horn. The cars hacked in the tests included a 2010 Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius. Miller and Valasek’s research is being funded by the Pentagon and its research facility Darpa.

Setting aside the fact that there are likely countless old school gamers who dreamed of doing this very thing during the NES’s heyday, the success of these tests make a fairly serious point not just about the prevalence of technology in our every day lives, but also its vulnerability. Hackers don’t need Pentagon funding to do some pretty serious things. The gaming industry itself is able to provide proof to that point. That being the case, it’s Miller and Valasek’s hope that future automobiles will include deeper security measures to help prevent outside manipulation similar to their own.

Source: Nintendo Life

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