As soon as things get smart, something stupid also happens: they become vulnerable to attack. This was the case (though over-hyped, perhaps) of printers that cybersecurity researchers warned could be hijacked and theoretically set on fire. And now, argues Willie D. Jones of IEEE Spectrum, it could be the fate of our latest smart devices: our cars.
Cars are dangerous enough, without the problem of a cyberattack thrown in the mix. But unfortunately, researchers are coming up with several ways cars could be vulnerable to hackers. Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth connections exist in cars to help us communicate or be entertained as we drive, but a few research groups have already shown how these channels can be hijacked by someone with malicious intent.
One research team at UC San Diego and University of Washington demonstrated it was possible to do an absurd attack that could allow criminals to locate cars' GPS coordinates, override their security systems, unlock their doors, and start their engines--in other words, a carjacker's dream come true. A even worse scenario envisioned by one researcher: a hack that would disable your breaks while you're driving on the highway.