IF the sight of tourists hovering around a city on a Segway wasn’t enough to leave you chuckling – prepare yourself for a real belly laugh.
Cyber experts are warning that a popular brand of the futuristic gadgets can be remotely controlled by hackers who can steer them in different directions.
Hackers can remotely control a popular brand of hoverboards and make off with them – while the rider is still on top
Thieves, hackers or pranksters can change the pace and direction of popular Segway hoverboards, according to security researchers IOActive.
The tech experts claimed they were able to shut down the motor in a Segway MiniPro – bringing it to an abrupt and unexpected stop while a test rider was zipping around the park.
A hilarious clip of what might happen shows one tester tumbling onto the pavement after his motor cuts out.
Another shows a woman chasing after her Segway through a park as it rolls off into the distance – steered by a man holding a phone several metres away.
However, he alleged vulnerability might cause some nasty injuries and could be exploited by thieves looking to nab the gadgets.
IOActive told The Sun Online that “devices actually go a lot faster than in the video, with more severe consequences, but we did not want to harm anyone making the video”.
A clip shows an IOActive test rider falling off their hoverboard when its motor is stopped by a person using their phone
Parents might not be too chuffed to see a Segway MiniPro – which costs around £700 – flying off into the hands of a cunning mugger.
IOActive Embedded Devices Security Consultant, Thomas Kilbride spent eight months, testing mobile apps to identify the flaws in the hoverboard’s safety system.
He claimed that once a vulnerability had been exploited, he could essentially gain full control of the scooter.
Kilbride was able to perform a total update of the scooter’s control system without authentication without the owner knowing.
Hackers control Segway hoverboards in hilarious video
He found that an attacker could make a hoverboard stop suddenly, creating the risk of a serious injury.
He said: “Using reverse engineering and protocol analysis, I was able to discover a number of worrisome security threats.
These Segway MiniPro owners won’t be smiling for long
“For example, I determined that riders in the area were indexed using their smart phone’s GPS.
“Therefore, each rider’s location was publicly available, so the hoverboards could be found, tracked, hijacked, and controlled without the rider’s knowledge.”
We have contacted Segway for comment.
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