Researchers have discovered that the computers that control modern car systems can be hacked as easily as, oh, Windows.
There’s a film in here somewhere:
In one attack, the team transformed the instrument panel into a clock that counted down to zero from 60 seconds. In the final seconds the horn honks and as zero is reached the car engine shuts off and the doors are locked.
They found that almost every system in the car, including engine, brakes, heating and cooling, lights, instrument panel, radio and locks was vulnerable.
In related news, there’s a brilliant, in-depth article over at The Atlantic about the notorious Conficker worm, which some estimates reckon has infected about 12 million computers worldwide (except those in the Ukraine). Apparently, it’s just sitting there, waiting for instructions from its creator:
Beyond criminal enterprise, botnets are also potentially dangerous weapons. If the right order were given, and all these computers worked together in one concerted effort, a botnet with that much computing power could crack many codes, break into and plunder just about any protected database in the world, and potentially hobble or even destroy almost any computer network, including those that make up a country’s vital modern infrastructure: systems that control banking, telephones, energy flow, air traffic, health-care information—even the Internet itself.
Are we too dependent on digital systems which themselves are too vulnerable to malicious attacks? Discuss!