Hackers could soon be using a homemade device costing just £12 to take control of your car.
The gadget, which is smaller than a mobile phone, can be used by the hackers to control things such as lights, locks, steering and brake, according to the creators.
Called the CAN Haking Tool (CHT), the device has to be fitted to a car’s Controller Area Network (CAN) in order to work. That means anyone attempting to fit it would need some time inside a victim's car before they can do anything.
Two Spanish security researchers made the device, with one of the makers claiming that it can take just five minutes to hook up and that they can trigger it to do whatever they wanted.
The kit apparently works through a simple 60p computer chip bypassing an encryption on the car before reading and writing data from the flash memory on the car’s ECU.
The device can be controlled remotely, and according to reports hackers can then use any command they want to program an action via the CHT. This includes things such as deploying airbags, enabling the alarm or locking the doors.
This isn’t the first time motorists have been warned of potential car hacking. At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, tech company Harman warned that an increasing number of cars are at risk from computer hackers because of the advanced Internet enabled systems they offer – and the problem could be potentially life-threatening.