Top 5 Risks You Hadn't Considered in Connected Cars

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Glitches and Malware

Computer glitches and malware: Our cars become computers on wheels, making them susceptible to the same issues we face on a daily basis with our personal computers. When a PC or smartphone crashes due to malware or a non-malicious glitch, at least your physical safety is not in danger. If a large-scale botnet could disable brakes, steering, or other critical functions, it would be a different story. Similar to the Jeep hack, researchers recently were able to turn off a moving Tesla Model S by hacking the entertainment system. When driverless cars start to appear, the systems that control and coordinate them, perhaps running in the cloud, will also be prone to intrusion and failure.

Connected car security has been a hot topic ever since the experiment in which hackers remotely ran an Internet-connected Jeep off the road. Even if the average driver isn't necessarily scared that the same thing will happen to them, connected automobiles could disrupt our everyday lives in other ways. And, with an estimated 250 million connected cars expected on the road by 2020, these disruptions could be coming sooner than you may think.

Automakers are eager to put Internet connectivity to good use – tracking down stolen vehicles, preprogramming trip routes, and even making driverless cars a full-scale reality — which Tesla is actively working on, having just rolled out its highly anticipated self-driving features. But that doesn't mean there won't also be a few side effects. Richard Kirk, SVP at AlienVault, the Silicon Valley-based provider of unified security management and crowd-sourced threat intelligence, outlines a few scenarios.


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