Who Wants Their Car to Be a Rolling Windows PC?

This story in the New York Times (h/t to BookofJoe for the lead) shouldn't have surprised me since I regularly have to re-boot the one late-model car I own, but with paragraphs like these it's hard not to be shocked:

The scientists say that they were able to remotely control braking and other functions, and that the car industry was running the risk of repeating the security mistakes of the PC industry.

“We demonstrate the ability to adversarially control a wide range of automotive functions and completely ignore driver input — including disabling the brakes, selectively braking individual wheels on demand, stopping the engine, and so on,” they wrote in the report, “Experimental Security Analysis of a Modern Automobile.”

We're so very hosed.

2 thoughts on “Who Wants Their Car to Be a Rolling Windows PC?

  1. John Oglesby

    If our cars become PC’s, will we need to upgrade every 18 months?
    I have a ’99 Saturn that gives me fits because the sensors won’t reset. I had to get a waiver because I couldn’t get it inspected. The only solution, I’ve been told by mechanics, is to drive it. But no one can tell me how far.
    I can’t imagine a BSOD scenario at highway speeds, just because someone hit changed the radio while someone else was rolling down the window during a left turn – someone forgot to include an If Else for that.

  2. Jon Lowder

    I hear ya. We have a sensor on our Ford Freestyles transmission that
    tends to not let it gear up right after we start the car in moist
    weather. Luckily a light comes on to warn us and we just turn it off
    and then turn it back on. That works every time and the mechanic told
    us it would cost about $900 to replace so as long as it doesnt get
    any worse we should just live with it. Sheesh.


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