Friday, May 14, 2010

Car viruses

Automobiles, which will be increasingly connected to the Internet in the near future, could be vulnerable to hackers just as computers are now, two teams of computer scientists are warning in a paper to be presented next week.

The scientists say that they were able to remotely control braking and other functions, and that the car industry was running the risk of repeating the security mistakes of the PC industry. ...

The researchers, financed by the National Science Foundation, tested two versions of a late-model car in both laboratory and field settings. They did not identify the maker or the brand of the car, but said they believed they were representative of the computer network control systems that have proliferated in most cars today. ...

They also demonstrated what they described as “composite attacks” that showed their ability to insert malicious software and then erase any evidence of tampering after a crash.

The researchers were able to activate dozens of functions and almost all of them while the car was in motion.

Wireless connections are increasingly becoming available in a wide range of automobiles. For example, services like the OnStar system from General Motors now report vehicle position and diagnostic information to the manufacturer.
--John Markoff, NYT, on yet another thing to worry about

No comments: