Monday, June 21, 2021

Computers make cars target for hackers

Doubtless you know late-model cars are full of computers — not merely the GPS or bluetooth link to your smart phone, but also the digitial diagnostics system that helps mechanics find faults. And where computers are, hackers are sure to follow.

That’s what makes this piece from CSO Online interesting. It notes that while there are no confirmed reports yet of cyberattacks on cars, several manufacturers acknowledge they are studying the potential problem.
 
(The digital screen of a Ford vehicle.  Ford confirms it incorporates security features for its Sync communications system.  Photo from Ford Motor Co.)

 
What are the dangers? The articles quotes a malware expert who notes that when he presses the wireless fob for his car in a parking lot to find it, several similar vehicles respond by blinking their lights. That won’t get him into someone else’s car, but obviously the car maker doesn’t ensure the wireless code is unique.
 
This points out the obvious logic in buying a pre-compter classic Datsun 240Z, Jaguar XKE (leaving aside solving their need for leaded gas) or Corvette. Better yet, take public transit.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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