Can Cars Be Hacked?
Today’s cars are filled with all kinds of electronic devices and high-tech equipment, and they are starting to look a lot like computers, with software and computer networks that control and connect various car systems. This means that there is now Wi-Fi Internet in cars, they can be connected to smartphones, laptops, and they can also connect to other cars. But, all this sophisticated technology in cars makes them vulnerable to hacker attacks, and a lot of people fear that their cars can get broken into and someone can take control of them remotely.
However, car owners shouldn’t be too concerned over these security issues, as car makers are definitely aware of them and are doing everything they can to protect vehicles against hacker attacks. Since a lot of cars nowadays have Bluetooth connections and Wi-Fi-enabled devices, all that someone needs to take control of your vehicle is a computer, Internet connection and some experience with computer programming. People who know their way around computers, can take command of vehicles that have this kind of technology and make some of them brake, and others accelerate, which would cause collisions and multiple car pile-ups. Also, privacy is a major concern, as your car tracks your movement and keeps record of it, and someone can easily find out where you are at any given moment, which makes your car an easy target for carjackers.
One car making company that is taking precautionary measures in this regard is Ford. They have implemented the SYNC system in a couple of their vehicles, and they have offered various security features that should protect the system from hackers. There is the SYNC Firewall, which should prevent other people from using your car’s WI-Fi connection. There is also the Encrypted Jukebox feature, that doesn’t allow hackers to access the hard drive in your car that you have downloaded music to. With the Engine Immobilizer, which is an anti-theft system, you can only start the engine if you have a coded ignition key. Each key has a unique electronic code, which is transmitted to the car’s ignition system through a wireless connection.
Cars can also be hacked through OBD-II ports. Hackers can install programs on your car’s CAN buses, and take control of its infotainment system, traction control system, or the Anti-lock braking system. The solution to this issue is encrypting the data that can be found in various vehicle systems, which means they are very well protected from hacker attacks.
Jordan Perch is an active promoter of the new developments in the automotive industry. He is an author of many how-to articles related to safe driving, local DMV, green technologies, auto insurance etc.