A post in MIT’s Technology review today reminds us why embedded computing is not always a good thing: the modern car is hackable:
Researchers who have spent the last two years studying the security of car computer systems have revealed that they can take control of vehicles wirelessly.
The researchers were able to control everything from the car’s brakes to its door locks to its computerized dashboard displays by accessing the onboard computer through GM’s OnStar and Ford’s Sync. [emphasis added]
Maybe you should seriously consider opting out of Bluetooth connectivity on your next vehicle.
Update: Stewart Baker over at the Volokh Conspiracy points out that some cars can be hacked via CDs or MP3s acting as a Trojan horse, which suggests a new RIAA business model:
Considering the clout they’ve already demonstrated on Capitol Hill, it may just be a matter of time before the industry persuades Senator Leahy to introduce the “Steal Our Music, We Steal Your Car” Act of 2011, authorizing copyright owners to introduce car-hacking code into Limewire and Bittorrent networks and then take possession of the music thieves’ vehicles. No doubt, they can produce studies showing that the act would create thousands of exciting auto repo jobs, and a tie-in with CarMax would help share the lobbying burden.
He’s kidding, of course. But it’s a little sad that you had to wonder for a second, isn’t it?