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The Real Deal: Car Hacking
ALBANY — Hackers have shown how easy it is to gain access to our personal information over the internet but soon they may be focusing on the computers in our cars. The idea of hacking a car isn't as far-fetched as you might think.
"Your car is nothing more than a computer on wheels, if you knew how many computers, computer chips, networks, literally wireless networks and other networks are built right into your car that you don't even know about, it's pretty staggering," says Reg Harnish, the President of GreyCastle Security in Troy. Recently, security researchers showed just how simple hacking a car can be for someone who knows what he's doing, "we've watched demonstrations where they've actually hacked into the automobile, the breaks on the car," Harnish says.
Those researchers released a list of what they consider the most "hackable" cars which include the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the Infiniti Q50 and the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. The reason? They have a number of computer systems many of which run on the same networks as the engine and break systems. Harnish says there are a number of reasons why someone with bad intentions would be interested in hacking into a car, "keep the breaks from working, maybe I want to roll back the odometer, maybe I want to hack into my GPS so I can play DVD's on it, it's endless…There was a whole rash of thefts of BMWs over in Europe not too long ago, someone figured out what the password generating mechanism was for keyless entry and they just went around stealing BMWs" he says.
While car-hacking hasn't been a widespread issue in the US yet, experts are warning car manufacturers to consider the possibility. The security advocacy group, I Am The Cavalry is proposing a rating system that would let consumers know how safe vehicles are from hacking.