I just saw an item on slashdot that is almost certain to start the next big wave of security panics.
It seems that some researchers have been working on discovering just how easy it is to hack the on-board computers in today’s cars. In one test that involved only 200 lines of code, they started a countdown at the end of which the engine shut off and the doors locked.
One of the comments on the story summed up very nicely just how easy this kind of hacking could be:
Think ‘open hood,’ ‘attach doohickey,’ ‘wait 30 sec. while it flashes the new firmware,’ ‘remove doohickey’. Bonus points if you can compromise the motor pool’s code reader while the VIP limo is nowhere nearby, and the trustworthy mechanic is the one inadvertently doing the flashing during routine scheduled maintenance.
All in all, it makes me really glad that my car was built in 1993 and doesn’t have nearly so much computer control as modern cars do.
[tags]automotive, hacking, computers, cars, on board computer, prefer older cars[/tags]