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The Five Coolest Hacks of 2007


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Nothing was sacred – not cars, not truckers, not even the stock exchange. Hackers are creative folk, for sure. But some researchers are more imaginative and crafty than others. We’re talking the kind of guys who aren’t content with finding the next bug in Windows or a Cisco router. Instead, they go after the everyday things we take for granted even more than our PCs — our cars, our wireless connections, and (gulp) the electronic financial trading systems that record our stock purchases and other online transactions.

Not that there’s anything wrong with a new Windows or Vista flaw. But you can’t help but secretly admire the ingenuity and persistence it takes to hack something that we hadn’t thought of as hackable — or that maybe that we just didn’t want to think was. These are the kinds of hacks that pierce the mainsteam consciousness: Your mom’s eyes may glaze over when you warn her about the risk of her PC becoming a bot, but you can bet you’ll have her full attention when you show how a hacker could redirect her brand-new car navigation system to a deserted dead end street far from her intended destination.

We’ve selected five of the coolest hacks we covered here at Dark Reading in 2007 — unusual vulnerabilities that were exposed and exploited this past year by researchers who don’t just do Windows. So raise your glass to some innovative, and sometimes wacky, hacks that we won’t soon forget (nor maybe will Mom):

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