Beware the Hackmobile

Does your automocar have the wifi? If so, that wifi capability is almost certainly going to lead to your demise on the road. Well, okay, it may not be quite that dire, but the FBI, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have issued a new PSA warning of the threat of car hacking (which is a thing).

The More You Know

“Modern motor vehicles often include new connected vehicle technologies that aim to provide benefits such as added safety features, improved fuel economy, and greater overall convenience,” the PSA states, in part. “Aftermarket devices are also providing […] new features to monitor [vehicle status]. However, with this increased connectivity, it is important consumers and manufacturers maintain awareness of potential cyber-security threats.”

The PSA doesn’t acknowledge any known new threats, but is instead a response to several previous incidents in which vehicle have been remotely hijacked whilst in motion. It should be noted, however, that probably the best known of these wifi hacks was performed by researchers to see just how hi a moving car could be jacked.(Can’t wait until some S.O.B. hacks a wifi-enabled city bus!)

car wifi

For the Best?

Now, I’m not saying that people losing control of their vehicles and crashing is a good thing, but follow me here. If car hacking becomes more prevalent, it could spur people to shun all that unnecessary wifi gizmo BS-crap that’s becoming the norm in modern vehicles.

I’ll grant you, a built-in GPS system is incredibly helpful, let’s keep those. But all the other bushwa that’s available amounts to naught but further distraction. We already can’t be bothered to put down our effing phones while we’re driving, so fewer other options for $#!t to mess with while we should be watching the road would undoubtedly be a good thing.

Unfortunately, since this is ‘Merica, it’s likely “prevention” won’t go much further another PSA or two until car hacking reaches the epidemic level. At which point, every one of us will be so dependent on that extra in-car wifi crap that we’ll be unable (read: unwilling) to live without it.

TL;DR: The hackers have already won, your car is mos def going to get wifijacked, and you’re going to die.

Photo credit: Vintuitive via / CC BY

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