Can Our Cars Really be Hacked And Turned Against us?

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Cars could soon be the latest target for hackers and cyber criminals, new reports are suggesting.

Modern vehicles are extremely intelligent; they are essentially a network of computers on wheels. Vehicles can have up to 200 small embedded elements within them that all communicate with each other. This can make for a tempting target for any would-be hacker – and the damages can be catastrophic.

Security expert Prof Alan Woodward, Chief Technology Officer at consultancy Charteris, said that car hacking hasn’t been widely discussed because as yet there has been no criminal incident of it.

“I think car hacking is one of the most scary things out there – the hacking of cars and medical devices are the two things nobody talks about,” he told the BBC.

Many of the computer components that make up modern vehicles come from external companies – who rarely state vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the software. This means that manufacturers cannot effectively communicate this to the customer.

Vehicle manufactures are aware of the concerns of car hacking. American automobile manufacturer Chrysler has a full team of engineers who are dedicated to developing cyber-security features.

Anti-virus developers Kaspersky Labs conducted research on BMW’s Connected Drive System, and found that there are several vulnerabilities that could be exploited to gain access to the driver’s credentials and steal passwords and other sensitive information.

Vicente Diaz, Kaspersky Lab Principal Security Researcher said, “Threats, specific to the computer world may become relevant for automotive industry as well and owners of next generation cars must learn to take these risks into account.”

Written by Nick Taylor – Alternative Route Finance:

Since 1999, Alternative Route Finance has continued to be a leading provider of vehicle leasing and fleet management solutions, offering a truly dedicated and bespoke service. They have won a number of prestigious awards and continue to thrive year on year. Alternative Route Finance is based in Hove, Brighton and for more information please call 0844 880 2290, email or visit

Joseph is a dedicated and passionate motoring enthusiast. Usually found behind the wheel of a white Ford Fiesta ST, but dreams of driving a Bugatti Veyron. Connect with Joseph via Twitter.

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