Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hackers May Target Cars Next

Computer security firm McAfee has issued a report warning that as cars become ever more embedded with digital technology, they are veering into dangerous territory and could be susceptible to hacking.

While cybercrime up until this point has largely been a matter of having your privacy invaded or a financial liability, were hackers to start targeting cars, there would be a potential risk to the personal safety of drivers. In McAfee's report, the firm warned that as cars become more sophisticated in regard to digital technology, security is lagging behind.

Cybercrime in general has been on the rise this year and a recent report by security firm Norton estimates that cybercrimes cost victims some $114 billion dollars last year.

Were hackers to successfully target cars, they could potentially track vehicle movements, interfere with navigation systems or disable vehicles remotely. As McAfee senior vice president Stuart McClure put it, "It's one thing to have your email or laptop compromised, but having your car hacked could translate to dire risks to your personal safety."

Hacking into cars would represent a bold move into new territory for hackers who this week demonstrated that nothing is sacred when they hacked into NBC's Twitter feed on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and posted a false story about an attack on the ground zero site.

George Doll, senior director for automotive solutions at Wind River, put it succinctly when he said, "As the trend for ubiquitous connectivity grows, so does the potential for security vulnerabilities."

Although, on a more positive note, Doll also stated that many members of the automotive industry are already working to design security solutions in response to the threat.

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