Imagine a future of driverless networked cars – and what hackers will then do

The news that Volvo is upping the ante in the race to be the first to bring driverless cars to the mass market, including systems allowing cars to exchange data with each other, means that security problems with the data links into and out of driverless cars being compromised won’t be that far behind.

That’s no criticism of any individual car marker. It’s just the continuing fact of networked life. The only fully secure device is one that is disconnected, turned off and locked away. And smashed to pieces with a hammer for good measure.

Having super-smart, possibly state-sponsored, hackers cracking into cars would bring us a whole new world of remote nefarious control. Imagine the car equivalent of a DDOS attack: jamming a city’s roads by clogging key junctions with remotely hijacked cars. Or the black arts of hijacking and crashing cars deliberately in a four-wheel version of drone strikes.

Oh and the fun of finding that your car is running really slooooooooowly after you updated the Norton Anti Car Virus v2.4 and it started hogging all the TomTom’s memory.

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