Technology Hacking Is Very Real

24 01 2013

Dale BertramToday’s vehicles are computer controlled and the average car has as many as 30 to 40 microprocessors in them and some have as many as 100 unique ones keeping various functions running. It seems that when something good is created, there are always those that find a way to use it maliciously. Here is what has been reported recently:

Grudge Hacking
A dealership in Austin, Texas discovered that a former, angry employee disabled over a 100 vehicles and had some vehicles honking their horns constantly, dismaying the owners of these cars. He was able to hack the web-based vehicle-immobilization system at the dealership.

In The Interest of Research Hacking
In the interest of research at the University of South Carolina and Rutgers University, tire pressure monitoring systems and warning lights were able to be tracked remotely using free, easy to obtain equipment and software. The researchers were able to trigger the warning lights and control the TPMS system. The University of Washington and the University of San Diego made a program that disabled brakes and stopped the engine on cars. All they had to do was connect to the onboard computers of the cars’ diagnostic system.

The Good News
At this time only the most malicious or bored power-hungry hacker would try to take down vehicles this way. Most hackers are in it for financial reasons and hacking cars’ systems isn’t a financial benefit to hackers…at least not yet.

The Bad News
With today’s wireless systems in cars we are all vulnerable. At this time we are dependent upon auto manufacturers to make sure we are secure. They are working hard to prevent us from being at the mercy of some power-hungry hacker. Be careful where you get your vehicle serviced as an unscrupulous auto repair shop can manipulate the system to show you need repairs or services performed that are not necessary.

What Can You Do Now?
Know your car! Check your manual to see if any system in it can be operated remotely. You can also ask the dealership where you purchased the vehicle if they have secured the remote shutdown system so that a hacker can’t gain access and shutdown your vehicle. This is currently used to repossess vehicles but in the wrong hands it can be detrimental. Always secure your vehicle and don’t leave passwords or documents in your vehicle that hackers can use to access your vehicle systems such as an On-Star system.

Don’t be paranoid but do use caution and be aware. Just as our computers and smartphones have helped us have easy access they are also vulnerable to attack from hackers and so are today’s vehicles.

Happy Motoring!





Fairway Auto Repair





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