Next Prey Of Hacking: Cars?
Why use a gun to kill someone when you can do it by simply hacking? Yes hacking can be that dangerous but of course you cannot kill one by hacking into there Facebook or Yahoo. Hacking can be deadly or highly dangerous if it is used at cars. Cars are being increasingly controlled by computers which control all the aspects from automatic acceleration to collision mitigated braking and cruise control. If somehow, these systems are made faulty by hacking into them, results can be disastrous!
This was pointed out in a joint report issued by FBI, and Transport Safety Board of the US last week. The hacking can be done by a number of ways including the third party apparatus used in the car such as the infotainment systems or the mobile devices connected to the cars. This can not only make the car unsafe to drive but can also facilitate the thieves as the modern cars are using key-less entry and the door locks are also controlled by a computer. In the report, the agencies also demarcated some safety tips for the car owners which are:
- Ensure installing the software updates issued by the manufacturer
- Do not install software from a third-party platform or a file sharing services
- While modifying the vehicles, only the parts approved by the manufacturer may be used
- Agencies like NHSTA, FBI and Internet Crime Security can be reached out if you suspect a hack.
Intensity of the problem
Talking on the vulnerability of the cars regarding being hacked, Mike Jude, research manager at Frost and Sullivan said that anything that is electronic and has a wireless control can be hacked but the hackers has to have a specific connection to the car to be hacked. Every car manufacturer has a different system for remote operations of the car like a remote start or remote unlock so the hackers will have to devise dedicated technologies for each car to be hacked.
Serious measures need to be taken as the connected cars are becoming more and more mainstream and now almost every car utilizes the wireless technology in one way or the other. Technically it is still very late to start working on this issue and we are in fact lucky that no disastrous event has yet been encountered in this respect.
Moreover, this can not only be used to make a car deadly by disabling the brakes or steering, the cars may be disabled in the middle of nowhere and then the owner can be asked for ransom to get the car working again. The threats are actually unlimited and this issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
The modern cars do have separate systems for controlling the infotainment and the vital functions but hackers can devise methods to gain access to one system once they get into the other. For time being, the safest practice is to follow the guidelines demarcated above.