How Car Hacking Can Be a Rising Threat?
With the rise of modern “smart” cars, driving has become much more stress-free and entertaining. When you get lost, you can easily find your way by using a navigation app. Or if you really need to listen to that one song, you can search for it on any number of music streaming software and play it immediately. You can even write and send a tweet while on the road (but we don’t recommend it). And you can do all of this without lifting a finger thanks to voice recognition technology.
The integration of wireless gadgets in motor vehicles has certainly changed the way we think about commutes and road trips. But like all other technological innovations, it comes with a price.
Using the very same avenues that allow drivers to access wireless data, hackers can take control of a smart car’s electronic systems – and to dangerous effect.
It may sound like a plot element in a science fiction novel, but it’s true. As part of a recent experiment, two well-meaning American hackers showed just how vulnerable smart cars are by hacking into a Jeep Cherokee’s most critical systems. They even managed to shut off the car’s engine while it was on the highway. And here’s the real kicker: all of the hacks were performed remotely on laptop computers, far away from the vehicle.
In response to the experiment, the details of which were published in tech magazine Wired, Fiat Chrysler announced a voluntary recall of 1.4 million cars and trucks, including Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles, due to electronic security concerns. According to a statement released by the major automaker, they have issued a fix for the most serious vulnerability involved in the Jeep hack.
However, maintaining e-security against the efforts of hackers is a constant battle. By the time a fix is released, hackers will have already discovered a new exploit.
So what can be done?
Noted security expert Brian Bourne believes automakers should pay more attention to electronic security because a hacked vehicle represents a very real risk to life and limb.
“Car companies have to take the threat very seriously,” he said. “There are a lot of remote ways to attack a car.”
He added that the best way to prevent car hacks would be either to allow cars to download and install security updates as soon as they are released “through the air,” or to keep the cars disconnected altogether.
In the near future, accidents involving hacked vehicles may become an issue. This raises some interesting questions regarding liability. For instance, will a hacked car crash victim be able to pursue civil claims against both the guilty hacker and the automaker? How will this affect auto product liability laws? If new hack exploits are constantly discovered, does this mean there will be constant recalls?
At Wilshire Law Firm, our car accident lawyers keep track of the latest developments in news and technology because as the world changes, the laws do, too. And it is our vow to stay at the forefront of personal injury law in order to maintain the highest standards of legal representation.