Researchers have discovered that today’s vehicle computers are reasonably susceptible to hacker attacks. Without any special knowledge about the cars, researchers were able to take control of the door locks, disable the brakes and even stop its engine, among other things.
This is thanks to cars’ increasing dependency on computers to perform basic functions. Computer can now do everything from wipe the windshield to maintain tire pressure. Researchers say the typical luxury sedan just rolling off the assembly line has about 100 megabytes of code to control 50 to 70 computers inside the car. Some luxury cars have 100 million lines of software code, compared to only 1.7 million lines on a U.S. Air Force jet fighter.
Using homemade hacking software they dubbed "CarShark," Washington-San Diego researchers in lab and road tests "demonstrate the ability to adversarially control a wide range of automotive functions and completely ignore driver input – including disabling the brakes, selectively braking individual wheels on demand, stopping the engine, and so on," the researchers wrote.
Wonderful. So car hacking could turn into car jacking in the wrong hands. Picture being inside your car at an intersection someday and Mr. Thug standing next to your car can turn off your engine and unlock your doors. You are not in control - Mr. Thug and Mr. Computer are.
“Open the pod bay doors please, Hal.”
“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”