Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Strangers can - and will - hack your car

Apologies for the deliberately hyperbolic headline. At first glance, I know it sounds frightening. You're rolling along on the highway, when all of a sudden your engine cuts out. It hasn't failed: it's been taken over by a hacker halfway across the country, and in addition to killing your throttle, he can fiddle with the stereo, open the windows, or even tamper with the brakes.

It isn't science-fiction. In fact, it's already been demonstrated numerous times. A recently discovered vulnerability in the UConnect in-dash infotainment system that's built into close to half a million Chrysler vehicles in North America could allow even more hackers to have their way.

And as car manufacturers and tech companies race to add ever-fancier new app-friendly systems into your next car - Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto, GM OnStar, Toyota Entune, etc. - security once again takes a back seat because all we really care about are the bells and whistles. We need to do a better job understanding and avoiding the growing risks.

I'll be speaking live on CTV's Canada AM tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 7:10 to explain why this is so worrisome, what the risks are, and what we can do as consumers to protect ourselves. Hope you can tune in.

1 comment:

Sleepypete said...

I'm going to write about this sometime soon.

It's a scarily real concept and the attack can be executed both from internet connectivity and via DAB radio. How far an attack can get is another question entirely ... Some cars are more vulnerable than others.

PS Am glad my Lexus IS300h has a proper steering column and only power steering interfering with that. The rest is completely drive-by-wire ...