01/07/2012

High-tech cars increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks

Although instances of car hacking have been extremely rare, the threat has gotten the attention of automakers

By Steve Johnson
Spokesman Review

SPOKANE, Wash. — Imagine this nightmarish possibility: Al-Qaida terrorists cause thousands of motorists racing down a freeway during the morning commute to suddenly lose their brakes, leading to massive chaos, death and destruction. Implausible? Maybe not, some experts warn.

As cars and trucks have become laden with brainy devices to control everything from their air bags to their crash-avoidance systems, the vehicles have become increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, according to recent studies by university researchers and security companies.

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