law firm affiliations

If you have been injured, call 1(888)821-0247

How Vulnerable is Your Car?

Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Aug 25, 2014 in Auto Accidents

New cars have anywhere from 50-100 small computers that control the steering column, speed and the brakes. The computers are primitive and often cannot differentiate between commands given by the driver and commands given by hackers who have been able to access the cars computer system.  

Hackers have been able to:

  • Slam on the breaks remotely
  • Jerk the steering wheel right or left
  • Honk the horn
  • Hack the cars Bluetooth and OnStar services

As more and more cars rely on connections to the internet and software integrated systems, these privacy and security concerns are likely to continue. Beyond just taking control of the vehicle, hackers are also able to introduce malicious code that can continue to affect the car long after the hacker loses access.

Congressional officials are paying attention. Senators, such as Senator Edward Markey, have demanded that the largest auto manufacturers provide details about security vulnerabilities in their vehicles and detail how many security breaches have been identified in the last five years.

It remains to be seen to what extent the auto companies are willing to share their internal data about security breaches and security vulnerabilities in their vehicles. Benign hackers and researchers have been exploiting vulnerabilities in cars in order to force companies to increase their security screenings.

Hackers from the University of California at San Diego have been able to wirelessly hack the Bluetooth, Android apps, OnStar systems and even a CD inserted into the cars stereo system. The sheer range of vulnerabilities exploited by the hackers is a troubling trend in car safety.

In addition to potentially causing accidents, malicious hackers may also be able to steal personal and financial information by accessing smartphones and tablets linked into the cars internet. The use of Bluetooth to attach devices is quite common. In light of Bluetooths ability to be hacked, consumer information stored on these devices if no longer safe.

At Harbin Law, our attorneys review car accidents on a free no-obligation basis. If you have questions about a car accident in South Carolina, please call 1-888-821-0247

Back to Top