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Can your Car be Hacked & Self Driving Cars

Can your Car be Hacked & Self Driving Cars

We have all been hearing about the latest hacks that have been hitting major websites recently like the 21.5 million federal employees who have had there private information stolen or Sony which was publicaly embarrased for the movie “The Interview” which they were forced not to release in theaters. But have you ever thought about your car being hacked?

Your Jeep has been Hacked

Recently Wired Magazine published an interesting article about how a couple of hackers were able to remotely control a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and even turn the engine off while it was on a public highway. View Original Article. Luckily the hackers were of the good variety. They are a small team of White Hat Hackers that were testing the security of the on board computer of one of their friends Jeep. They had permission to do so.

They were able to do simple things like remotely turning on the air conditioner, change the radio station, start the wind shield wipers but the scariest part was the fact that they could also control the stearing wheel, kill the breaks or even stop the engine. This is something you think only happens in movies like Mission Impossible or Fast and the Furious.

The vehicle tested was a Jeep but is it limited to that particular model? Probably not. If there is a computer on board then most likely there is a way to gain control of the car. Should you be concerned? Probably not. Crackers AKA Black Hat Hackers tend to focus their attacks on targets for specific reasons.

Wait, can your cars computer be part of a Botnet which is a group of computers that are used by Crackers to attack other computer systems without the owners knowledge? If it has a connection to the internet then possibly. Some cars now come with built in Wifi or is connected to the internet via your cell phones bluetooth connection. And you thought that getting your car broken into or stolen was your only concern.

What about the Self Driving Car

Business Insider recently published an article noting that by 2020 there will be 10 Million self driving cars on the road. View Original Article. Leading the way in this technology is Google with their work with the self driving car. View More Here. Some even want this type of tech to be mandatory since if the technology is perfected then there theoretically shouldn’t be any accidents. Wait what happens if a Self Driving Car does get into an accident? Bryant Walker Smith from Stanford Law wrote a 44 page paper on the topic. View Here. Hey, maybe you can get an insurance discount for a self driving car if it works. Maybe insurance won’t be needed except for maybe Cracker Insurance.

Imagine if crackers hacked your self driving car. I see a market for Anti Virus Software for Cars. The future of tech is a great field to get into. Hence why all kids should learn to code.

The Takeaway

While this article might make you think twice about owning a car with a built in computer, you kind of have no choice. Virtually all cars now have a computer built in. This is a good thing because advancements in tech can make the impossible, possible. We shouldn’t be fearful but should ensure that companies do all they can to create secure systems and quickly release security updates when a flaw is discovered.

Google has made security a major focus with their recent offer of a $38,000 award for those who discover a security flaw and provide a patch. Tech Crunch has more on the topic Here. Other companies like Facebook and Microsoft have similar programs.

Hopefully you found this article informative. If so, feel free to share.

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