12/17/2008
10:01 AM
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The Five Coolest Hacks Of 2008

Not even your psyche was safe from hacking this year -- hackers found holes in the highway toll system, building security -- and, yes, your head

Hacks are a dime a dozen. But the hacks that stand out are the innovative and imaginative ones that infiltrate and haunt our daily lives -- the ones that make you think twice before you zip through the electronic toll fast-lane on the highway, scan your fingerprint on your office building's entry system, or post your status on Facebook for fear that an attacker is lurking and able to abuse your privacy on these systems.

Sure, your iPhone might get cracked someday, and your Website could get temporarily knocked offline by a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. But what if an attacker used your own iPhone to hack you, or used a special kind of DoS attack to shut down your hardware permanently? That's the kind of ingenuity we're talkin' about.

We've selected five of the coolest hacks we covered here at Dark Reading in 2008 -- unusual and sometimes off-the-wall vulnerabilities that were exposed and exploited this past year by researchers who, driven by their curiosity and imagination, had some fun (possibly at your expense), but all for the ultimate purpose of making daily life more secure. So read on -- and don't stop looking over your shoulder.

Contents:

1. Highway to Hell: the electronic toll system hack
2. Psyche-cracking
3. iPhone as a hacking tool
4. Permanent denial-of-service
5. "Gecko" and the building system hack

Next: Highway to Hell: hacking the electronic toll system

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

 

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