Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Can Your Car Be Hacked? Mine Is Too Stupid For That.

An interesting 60 minutes episode explores what it would take to hack into an automobile's on board computer. Evidently, it only takes a determined hacker with a laptop. Of course you also need a smart car. Most cars now, if not all are equipped with smart on board computers that control everything from the air fuel mixture burn for the engine to safer braking systems, back up monitors that let you know if something is in your way  and even climate control for passengers.

In Eureka, there is a used car dealer that actually uses technology to make sure they get paid. If a person is late on their payment the car will be remotely disabled until a payment is received. This is done after the car has been turned off so as to avoid safety problems. While this sucks for those late on their payments, it's great for the auto dealer. One could say that this is a good use of technology.

When I bought my Kia back in 2007 I picked out a stripped entry level Rio which is the cheapest Kia available. I knew that I would drive the wheels off of it as my daily round trip commute is about 60 miles.
I didn't want to kill a real nice car in this way so I went cheap. 
Mine is a stick shift with hand crank roll down windows and no auto door locks. If I drive into a canal or lake, I can just roll down the window and swim out, assuming that I and the car are otherwise OK other than being in the water. I don't like cars that lock the doors automatically. I don't like cars that think they can automatically brake or steer better than myself. I don't have On-Star or even a GPS tracking device. I believe the 2007 Rio  was just about the only car that year that still didn't come with built in GPS. So with that said, I am not too worried about someone hacking into my on board computer to find out where I am, have been or to disable safety equipment or something. My computer is devoted to running the car and must be accessed by actually plugging into it.

Just like the Samsung Smart TV's that have built in cameras and microphones, new cars have lots of great technology that can make driving safer, easier and even more fun. However, with all technology, there is a down side. People sitting in front of the Samsung TV's were unaware that hackers could access the built in camera and microphone and the same goes for people with modern cars. The smarter they are it seems, the more systems are available for hacking.

 Read the story and make up your own mind. For the most part these modern cars are better and safer but there is always that chance that they are not entirely under your contol. 

6 comments:

  1. Moi aussi, Tom. I don't want to drive a car that's smarter than I am.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Moi aussi, Tom. I don't want to drive a car that's smarter than I am.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Julie Timmons:

    That was well worth saying twice.

    Alas, when the robot/human wars start my car will be a fearless warrior for the other side. Us carbon based lifeforms are in for a whippin'.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Julie Timmons:

    That was well worth saying twice.

    Alas, when the robot/human wars start my car will be a fearless warrior for the other side. Us carbon based lifeforms are in for a whippin'.

    ReplyDelete
  5. But, the KIA Rio can be "hacked" with a slimjim and a screwdriver. In the age of ever-decreasing car theft rates due to RFID ignition locks and remote vehicle disabling technology, KIA Rios have theft rates like it was 1993.

    ReplyDelete

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