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Automakers warm up to friendly hackers at cybersecurity conference
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. Those efforts at the DEF CON security convention in Las Vegas this weekend are sponsored by carmakers and suppliers that have increasingly recognized the need to collaborate with so-called white hat hackers - cyber experts who specialize in discovering vulnerabilities to help organizations. 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. “A big part of it is redefining the term ‘hacker’ away from that of a criminal to make automakers understand that we’re here to make their systems more secure,” said Sam Houston, senior community manager at Bugcrowd, which recruits researchers for so called bug bounty programs at Tesla Inc, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and other automakers.
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