The last generation of vehicles come with on-board computers that control almost every aspect of the car and provide the driver with the relative information for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. The computers onboard are connected with sensors by internal wiring or by bluetooth (where wires are not an option, like the tyres). Almost all computerized cars now come with a wifi connection, that allows anyone to run diagnostics, update the software and correct problems.
The 1982 TV series "Knight Rider" featured a car driving itself, and the driver communicating with it through a wristwatch that doubled as a computer, mobile phone and 2-way radio. Today all of this technology exists, and is becoming available to the markets.
However today's computerized cars may not be as "intelligent" as KITT, and their WiFi connectivity may be a serious vulnerability.
Proof-of-concept experiments from different labs in the States have proven that it is feasible to hack a car, alter its software, install malware, and even force the brakes to block when the car is in motion. Hacked cars had the speedometer altered, so the driver could not know their precise speed.
Even worst, one can murder a driver by deploying the airbag (and create panic and loss of control leading to a crash) when the car reaches a certain speed. Police would normally rule it an accident in the absense of any other information.
Photo source: www.knightrideronline.com
Although the above scenaria are not likely to happen to the majority of us, the car's onboard computers still carry a wealth of information that can be used when investigating accidents, vehicle malfunctions, theft of the the vehicle, etc.
Find out how you can protect your high-tech priced possession and and of course yourself and your family. Contact Strathclyde Forensics for a non-obligation consultation.