Hacking could become a problem as cars become more high-tech

February 6, 2012 12:00 AM

As cars become more high-tech, security experts have raised questions about vehicle's vulnerabilities to hacking, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

New electronic computer systems allow drivers to control entertainment via touchscreens, as well as integrate with smartphones and Bluetooth-enabled devices. However, some say this is a security flaw that could essentially give hackers a door into more important components of car computer systems, such as safety.

"There clearly is a vulnerability," Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, told the news source. "All these electronics we're bringing into cars seem to exacerbate that."

Thus far, the only recorded example of car hacking has been through professional studies. Researchers with access to a car were able to use a laptop in order to take over the vehicle, but this was characterized as a somewhat unwieldy approach - something that the average hacker wouldn't really be able to do in real life. The study also used an infected compact disc to take over a car's safety systems, reports the news source.

While electronic systems can control many features of cars these days, automakers still haven't developed a car that fixes itself. Drivers should pay close attention to their auto maintenance to ensure their vehicle is in tip-top condition, as electronic diagnostic systems cannot be relied upon for everything.

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