Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Car Hack

PostedDecember 7, 2012

Anchor Lede: Most of us are aware that our laptops or desktops can be vulnerable to cyber attack. But, as they become increasingly computerized, cars may become targets too.

Randy Atkins: Computers are making our cars safer and more fuel efficient, but maybe also more vulnerable to malicious attack.

Yoshi Kohno: We found that while actually driving the car, someone connected to the car’s internal network could actually control almost all of the critical components within the car – from the braking system to the transmission to the lighting systems to the dashboard.

Randy Atkins: Yoshi Kohno, a University of Washington computer scientist, plugged directly into a car’s diagnostics port for his tests. But, he says increasing use of wireless connections – from emergency communications to just unlocking doors – may be cause for concern.

Yoshi Kohno: If someone could compromise one of those wireless interfaces, what could they do to the computers in the car?

Randy Atkins: Kohno hopes his findings will encourage more thought about that, and security measures. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.