Can your car be hacked?
Here’s another reason why it’s important to use a trusted car repair centre. We are now in the generation where cars are being manufactured with computers that control the various functions of the car. There are various microprocessesors running different functions, from controlling your braking to activating the differential lock.
Here are some reports that clarify some of the risks associated with hacking:
- In Austin, Texas, a disgruntled former car sales employee took over the immobilisation system of over 100 vehicles. Drivers found their vehicles had been disabled or their horns were honking out of control.
- Researchers from the University of South Carolina and Rutgers University were able to hack into tyre pressue monitoring systems. They triggered the vehicle’s warning lights and tracked it through its monitoring system.
- Researchers at the University of Washington and University of San Diego were able to create a program which would hack into onboard computers to disable brakes and stop the engine. However, this was achieved by connecting to onboard computers using the ports for the vehicle’s electronic diagnostic system.
Presently, there is no clear financial reward for hacking into cars. Even if there was a real risk of your car being hacked, the security of your vehicle is determined by car manufacturers. Precautions you can take yourself are to enquire into wirleless systems if you’re purchasing a new car. If you’re financing through the company from which you purchased the car, ask about remote shutdown related to repossession. Use reputable dealers and repair shops. It’s possible for unscrupulous garages to manipulate your car’s computer system, making it appear you need repairs that aren’t actually warranted. Don’t cut corners when choosing a car repair centre. Be cautious about after-market car devices or systems. Your car is no longer a closed system.