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Last Updated : Nov 22, 2017 09:50 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Hackers can take control of cars with internet connectivity, warn experts

Experts consider the situation to be extremely serious and suspect hackers could already be causing accidents without letting the authorities even get a whiff of it.

Cyber security experts across the world are sounding alarm bells and are calling vehicles with advanced electronic technology or internet connectivity an "open door" which a hacker can use as a weapon.

Justin Cappos, a computer scientist at New York University, told The Independent the issue is extremely dangerous and "urgent" as hackers could already be causing accidents without letting the authorities even get a whiff of it.

The situation is even more serious given today’s geopolitical situation where vehicles have been used as weapons to carry out terrorist attacks across the world.


Cappos said, “If there was a war or escalation with a country with strong cyber-capability, I would be very afraid of hacking of vehicles.”

“Many of our enemies are nuclear powers but any nation with the ability to launch a cyber strike could kill millions of civilians by hacking cars. It's daunting,” he added.

He said, “Once in, hackers can send messages to the brakes and shut off the power steering and lock people in the car and do other things that you wouldn't want to happen.”

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that such an instance has come to light. Back in 2015, an experiment by Wired involving Jeep Cherokee was successfully hacked by security experts in US. In the demonstration, researchers were able to take control of the car’s radio, windscreen wipers and even the air conditions.

The situation turned dangerous when hackers cut the car’s transmission resulting in the car coming to a stop in the middle of the interstate highway while it was moving at a speed of 65mph.

The experiment eventually led Jeep, the company which manufactured the Cherokee model, to recall about 1.4 million cars.

The situation is very serious in Western countries where millions of advanced cars are already plying on the road. However, countries like India do not face an immediate threat as experts suggest the country has very few number of cars which are vulnerable to hacking.

However, given India is rapidly adopting newer technologies such as electric cars, the situation could turn grave sooner than later. In fact, the NDA government has already set a target to push off all the non-electric cars from the road and go all electric by 2030.
First Published on Nov 22, 2017 09:12 pm