Although all of the new computer aided and operated features in Jaguars, Land Rovers, and Audis have ushered in numerous functions, they also have drawbacks. One such disadvantage is susceptibility to hacking. Yes, your vehicle can be hacked!
But not like in the movies…yet.
Last year the Defense Department, granted computer specialists Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek the opportunity to investigate various security vulnerabilities in vehicle computer systems. They found moderate success, but they needed to connect physically with the vehicle to access its controls. Most car owners would be able to recognize a computer device linked into dashboard, so this threat isn’t high.
Others have found ways to steal vehicles by cloning remote key codes, recording signals sent by keyless devices, and jamming wireless signals. These techniques show that remote threats are possible and will most likely increase—especially for high-end vehicles. Some car manufacturers do not seem intimidated by this and have embraced wireless web connections. For instance, Audi’s next gen vehicles will be continuously connected to AT&T’s wireless network.
Car manufacturers and part designers are working together to guard against new age cyber-attacks. Several have designed layers of firewalls and other security protocols on Bluetooth and wireless tech. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has allocated $2 million toward researching and improving vehicle computer system security.
Currently, car hacking is not a high threat because hackers cannot monetize it yet. Yet, the day may arise when car hacking becomes more lucrative. We may see this occur sooner than later, especially as vehicle to vehicle communication emerges.
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