Does Car Technology Make Your Car Vulnerable to Hackers?

Post On 02-10-2015

Wireless technology has been boosting connectivity and efficiency across the board. But when it comes to car technology, it’s also boosting the risks.

Several experts have been urging automakers to pay special attention to car technology and security as systems used in newer vehicles are increasingly interconnected. As technology advances, hackers also advance. Their focus on attacking vehicles and their computers could soon be exposing thousands if not million drivers to major threats.

To tackle the risks, a senator decided to reach out to vehicle makers and ask them what technologies their vehicles are equipped with that could raise security concerns. The result of the senator’s work can be found in the report titled “Tracking and Hacking: Security and Privacy Gaps Put American Drivers at Risk.” According to the senator, vehicles that are more and more connected could create opportunities for hackers with malicious intentions. Vulnerabilities stemming from the wireless networks these cars are fitted with must be addressed so that accidents are avoided.

Since several risks can be identified, experts decided to make a list of potentially threatening attacks that could be made possible if automakers don’t start working on fixing the vulnerabilities.

How Is Car Technology Vulnerable to Hackers?

Studies carried out by technology experts have proves that, too often, car systems are easy to hack if you know how. During a research targeting two vehicles from different brands, researchers were able to cause the vehicles to randomly accelerate in various occasions. They were also able to activate the car’s horn and deactivate the brakes.

Car technology has come a long way, but if automakers do not work on developing important solutions to ensure the car’s security, scary scenarios thought up only by experts at this point could turn into a reality.

Other studies have also indicated that newer cars could be vulnerable to hackers who are attempting to modify the speedometers and other important systems. Hackers could also get into the vehicle’s wireless system and obtain control over the headlights. Once the attacker is in, access to the vehicle’s data is also made possible. Privacy and security experts are reporting that hackers with malicious goals could use this data to hurt the car owner.

But is hacking a risk that will only affect how the vehicle’s systems are being used remotely? According to official reports, no. Having access to the car’s navigation tools could also expose the driver to other risks including making his or her location easy to find with the help of the car’s GPS technology. Disabling the vehicle remotely could also be used by hackers. If a driver is behind the wheel and the attacker has access to the car’s navigation system, the same technology used by car dealerships to disable cars belonging to consumers who are not making their payments can be used by hackers.

However you slice it, car technology can end up exposing drivers to a series of risks. If hackers cannot be contained and automakers are not able to develop better, safer car technology, many drivers will end up being exposed to major risks.

For a full list of possible scenarios involving hacking threats, follow this link to read the full article.