Illumio Blog
April 3, 2015

Hacking Your Car

Jimmy Ray Purser,

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If you watch action movies, you know that at some point someone is going to steal a car. They do is with such masterful tricks as striking two wires together that spark and then the car starts or the classic keys-in-the-sun visor trick is a common as a Wilhelm scream. While stealing a car ourside of the movies is not as easy as it used to be, it looks like it’s about to get a whole lot easier.

Jimmy Ray's Tech Log

With 30 to more than 100 microprocessors controlling everything from your engine timing to your air bags to even your car horn, your car is a rolling data center. I read an excellent article called “Car Hacking: How Safe Are You Behind the Wheel in Today’s Digital Society?” in Computing Now that says: “The space ship that put humans on the moon, Apollo 11, had 145,000 lines of computer code. The Android operating system has 12 million. A modern car? Easily 100 million lines of code.”

Consider that the number of DNA strands in a mouse is about 120 million. Yowza!!

So the question is: Has anyone hacked into a car to cause serious problems? I know of a few not-so-serious incidents:

So, It’s possible, for sure. There are so many aftermarket add-ons to turn your boring grocery getter into a smooth GTA-style whip, but we have no idea of the secure code review on these add-ons, do we? And, now your car connects to the Internet. Security is really getting interesting again—and fast! 

Right now, I’m really starting to miss the 1973 Corvette I sold years ago…for a Renault Encore. Yep, I sure did. It’s a long story, don’t ask…PLEASE!

—Jimmy Ray

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Topics: Data Center Operations

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