While technology has improved automotive safety in plenty of ways, the increase in internet connectivity also opens the door to potential cyber criminals. Nearly three quarters of new cars have telematics systems, giving hackers the opportunity to lock drivers inside or outside their vehicles or even freeze the ignition; leaving them little option but to pay the ransom demands – an odd situation of cyber ransom crossing over into IRL territory. Ultimately, a terrorist could even seize control of a car remotely and use it as a lethal weapon.
The past 12 months certainly have been awash with stories about spectacular car hacks, showing just how very real the danger is – even if for the time being hacks have relied on physical or close proximity connection to the vehicles.
Manufacturers are being urged to build cyber security into their cars before the first attack takes place; following in the slipstream of the airline industry, where over 90% of airlines have pledged to adopt stringent cyber security measures.