New luxury cars are often celebrated for their integration of new technology, with modern features giving way to improved control systems, having huge effects on braking, acceleration and security. Hackers might be able to manipulate the digital systems, which includes navigation, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth phone access. In addition, the brakes, engine and steering systems could be exposed, leaving potential vulnerabilities in adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, crash mitigation and lane-departure warning systems.
Although these ‘connected cars’ are undeniably more streamlined with fingerprint technology and keyless ignition systems making more of an extremely personal driving experience are they too good to be true?
Of late they have caused an international panic, proving to pose larger theft risks than your average hatchback. According to reliable sources criminal organizations have been using sophisticated technology to steal information as well as extort money from car owners.
According to Edmund King, president of the AA, “You are now getting the connected car. You’re getting cars that are connected to the internet 24 hours a day. If cyber criminals targeted automobiles like they’re targeting other things we’d be in for a hard and fast ride.”
“The more cars rely on technology, particularly remote technology, the more there is to get at.”
The most dangerous possibility is criminals hacking into a car’s safety systems, including cruise control and braking.
“Ultimately there could be a terrorist-type threat to transport systems,” King said. “I don’t think we’re there yet but it’s something that needs to be addressed.”
Not only is this giving hackers a new route to devise theft plans with but it can also encourage unsafe roads, with hackers being able to influence crashes as a result of their control.
Research has found that recent thefts of BMW and Range Rover marques has been a result of criminals gaining access to internal computer systems known as Controller Area Network (CAN). This can be achieved through a wireless network, Bluetooth or a car radio.
With such skepticism surrounding the modern vehicle we can take solace in the thought that future technology will hone in on car safety.
Cars for Stars
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