A new report has warned that there is a risk of normal, modern non-autonomous cars being taken over by a hostile hacker.
The report, from US consumer group Consumer Watchdog, said that if a cyber attack were to take place on internet-connected cars during rush hour in major U.S metropolitan areas, then as many as 3,000 people could be killed.
Consumer Watchdog worked with a group of car industry technologists and engineers to assess the danger of vehicles connected to the internet being targeted by hackers, according to Energy Live News.
The group reportedly said that while the autonomous cars of the future are often the focus of hacking concerns, there is a real risk of normal, modern non-autonomous cars being taken over by a hostile party.
Energy Live News reports that the report also notes this is largely due to security design flaws and notes tens of millions of these internet-connected cars are already operating on US roads, following automakers, ‘quietly installing components that carry risks into ordinary consumer automobiles.’
The report also warns that many of these vehicles feature mechanisms able to control acceleration, steering, and braking, all of which can be overridden by computers and software. The overriding of these features could possibly lead to hackers remotely taking control of the vehicle and causing property damage or even death.
According to Energy Live News Consumer Watchdog notes millions of vehicles could be affected simultaneously and says a hacker with only modest resources could launch a massive attack against our automotive infrastructure. It argues that despite an attack targeting transportation infrastructure becoming a growing possibility, car industry executives are deploying these technologies regardless of the dangers involved, which it claims is a result of ‘putting corporate profits ahead of consumer safety and national security.’