A couple of months ago I posted Privacy at home. In it I told of eschewing the most tech-enriched controller for our new furnace and air conditioning units: Hunky Husband and I chose not to be able to access the controller via internet. Now let's talk about modern cars.
Over the past 20-30 years, cars (and other vehicles) have become more tech-enriched. Since HH drives a 2013 Lincoln MKS and I drive a 2014 Lincoln MKZ, we are up to our ears in tech. (I was told by the car dealer's service manager that my new car contained/used about 20 computers.) One really must take lessons to operate new vehicles; so, I was not surprised to read in a special section of today's newspaper that Wichita State University was offering a non-credit course in "MAXIMIZING THE FEATURES OF YOUR CAR". (You are well ahead of me if you guessed that the offering was actually titled "PHOTOGRAPHY: MAXIMIZING THE FEATURES OF YOUR SLR".)
Our cars will not only parallel park without our controlling the steering wheel, but when using the cruise control, unless I use 11 button pushes to disable the feature, the car calculates the closing rate between me and the vehicle ahead of me. If it doesn't like the answer, it slams on the brakes! (Unfortunately, the car isn't smart enough to realize that a car that is making a turn in front of me will clear the lane in time for me to have sole occupancy, nor does it take into account that the lane to my left is open so that I can make a last-minute lane change if called for. You can understand why I go through the 11 button pushes before engaging the cruise control, for most of my driving.) Our cars also have a stick shaker (well...in a car it shakes the steering wheel) to alert him or me that we are encroaching on the line at either side of our lane.
Of course there is GPS and the entertainment systems that take computer implementation, and the blue tooth synchronization to a cell phone and its contacts listing. (BTW: I turned off the blue tooth in my cell phone to prevent synchronization. The car, crazily, tries and tries and tries to synchronize but can't find my phone.)
Back to my point: I not only do not wish to have our HVAC system available via internet, I don't really want anyone hacking my car.
Slashdot.org led me to an article on Information Week: Dark Reading: Connecting the Information Security Community titled The World's Most Hackable Cars. You've probably seen news items concerning the report. This, excerpted from the article, is unfathomable to me:
The researchers studied in-depth the automated and networked functionality in modern vehicle models, analyzing how an attacker could potentially access a car's Bluetooth, telematics, or on-board phone app, for example, and using that access to then control the car's physical features, such as automated parking, steering, and braking. Some attacks would require the attacker to be within a few meters of the targeted car, but telematics-borne attacks could occur from much farther away, the researchers say.
Not surprisingly, the vehicles with fewer computerized and networked functions were less likely to get attacked by a hacker. "The most hackable cars had the most [computerized] features and were all on the same network and could all talk to each other," says Miller, who is a security engineer at Twitter. "The least hackable ones had [fewer] features, and [the features] were segmented, so the radio couldn't talk to the brakes," for example.
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 would be the easiest of all to hack because its telematics, Bluetooth, and radio functions all run on the same network as the car's engine and braking systems, for instance, making it easier for an attacker to gain control of the car's computerized physical operations.