From ACM TechNews:
Carmakers, U.S. Worry About Hacking of Cars
San Jose Mercury News
(12/28/11) Steve Johnson
Recent studies indicate that cars' increasing reliance on computer systems that control everything from airbags to crash-avoidance systems has left them vulnerable to cyberattacks. "I can definitely imagine organized crime or potentially even nation-states leveraging weaknesses in these functions to cause different kinds of havoc," says Intel's Ryan Permeh. Car manufacturers are taking the threat of cyberattacks very seriously. For example, Ford's Rich Strader says the company is "working to ensure that we've developed a product that is as resistant to attack as possible." The threat also is being addressed by the U.S. government. "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of the potential for 'hackers' and is working with automakers to better understand what steps can and are being taken to address the problem," according to an agency statement. University of South Carolina researchers recently hacked a vehicle, causing the tire-pressure warning system to send fake alerts to the vehicle's dashboard. University of California, San Diego professor Stefan Savage says it will be difficult to anticipate all of the schemes that could come about in the future. "I would be quite surprised if there are not additional vulnerabilities," Savage says.
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