Hacking into cars: The risks of inter-connectivity

As more and more devices are able to be hooked up to the internet, hacking is not longer an activity strictly limited to computers.

As shown in a recent report conducted by Andy Greenburg for Wired.com, Charlie Miller, a security engineer at twitter and Chris Valasek, director of vehicle safety research at IOActive developed a software that could remotely control and sabotage a car. 

The video showed the two conducting a number of tricks on the car, from small nuisances such as turning the air conditioning and music to full blast, to more startling actions like bringing the vehicle to a complete stop on the highway. The driver of the car was unable to regain control of the system and was at the complete mercy of the two hackers who were miles away. 

While this experiment was conducted under safe conditions, the pair warned that more unsavoury characters could use these systems to create havoc for drivers. 

Many cars have been recalled in light of hacking dangers.Many cars have been recalled in light of hacking dangers.

Within a week of the video's release, FIAT Chrysler announced that it will recall 1.4 million cars to be fitted with software to attempt to stop hackers penetrating the driving systems of the cars. The intent was also to bring wider attention to other car manufacturers that more attention must be paid to ensuring the security of the internet systems in their cars.

Considering that the development of the first completely automated car is reaching new milestones, with the Google car hitting over 1 million miles driving, the implications of this are huge for both internet security and automobiles. These most recent events add more fuel to the ongoing debate around the internet of things and how safe these devices are from tampering. 

These most recent events add more fuel to the ongoing debate around the internet of things.

With more connectivity between devices comes increasing danger that hackers will tamper with a range of our most vulnerable possessions, such as mobile phones, cars and even our household systems. A 2014 report conducted by HP looked at the 10 most popular devices in various niches and revealed that 80 per cent of devices raised concerns around privacy. On top of this, 70 per cent did not encrypt communication to the internet and the local network.

There are ways to tackle the ongoing threat of device hacking. IT security training can help individuals and businesses understand the importance of protecting devices that are internet-capable. HP also recommended the introduction of security standards before the production of any interconnected device begins, which car manufacturers should now be more aware of due to these recent events.