Currently, there’s nothing to stop anyone with malicious intent and some computer-programming skills from taking command of your vehicle. After gaining access, a hacker could control everything from which song plays on the radio to whether the brakes work.
While there are no reported cases of cars being maliciously hacked in the real world, in 2010, researchers affiliated with the Center for Automotive Embedded Systems Security (CAESS—a partnership between the University of California San Diego and the University of Washington) demonstrated how to take over all of a car’s vital systems by plugging a device into the OBD-II port under the dashboard.
It gets worse. In a paper that’s due to be published later this year, those same researchers remotely take control of an unnamed vehicle through its telematics system. They also demonstrate that it’s theoretically possible to hack a car with malware embedded in an MP3 and with code transmitted over a Wi-Fi connection.
Such breaches are possible because the dozens of independently operating computers on modern vehicles are all connected through an in-car communications network known as a controller-area-network bus, or CAN bus.
I guess that’s a yes …