Interesting article today on the New York Times. Computer security experts from the University of California and the University of Washington are raising concerns about your car’s computer network.
Apparently, when designing the computer system of modern cars, safety was a major focal point, but it would appear that computer security was not. The University team was able to remotely gain control of a car’s computer network and manipulate the vehicle.
“We demonstrate the ability to adversarial control a wide range of automotive functions and completely ignore driver input — including disabling the brakes, selectively braking individual wheels on demand, stopping the engine, and so on,”
The would be hackers were able to control the vehicle through the onboard computer and bypass the car’s safety features. They were also able to insert malicious software into the car system and then erase it to remove all evidence that it was tampered with. The goal of the University team is to draw attention to these security issues, so that they are fixed, before this becomes a major issue.
The vulnerability of car computer systems will open all sorts of new doors for mobile hacking platforms and high speed botnets (I’m kidding of course). But, most importantly, it will induce plausible deniability for speeders when pulled over by the police. “Officer, a hacker in Russia made me do it…”