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Can someone hack your car's computer?

Toyota Prius hybrid model cars at a Toyota dealer in Hollywood, Calif.

Anyone who's driven a car made in the last few years knows that they are chock full of computers. A trip to the garage for repairs will drive that fact home, sometimes painfully. But if your desktop computer is vulnerable to security flaws, worms, malware, and all the other problems that go with computing, doesn't it stand to reason that your car might be as well? A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Washington set out recently to learn how vulnerable your car is to bad guys and whether someone could infiltrate your computer and, say, cut the brakes electronically. We talk to one of the researchers, Stefan Savage, who tells us what his team found out.

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