Cars and cyber attacks

could your car be hacked

Let’s talk about technology and our cars. Whenever I am forced to drive my significant others car (a 2014 Infiniti) I feel as though I’m inside a computer with wheels. There are really only two features I adore about it, the back up camera and Bluetooth. I don’t need to have text messages read to me, I don’t want to know about Facebook status updates, I just want to get from point A to point B. I may be really old school about this (and I believe the reason is that I am inherently technologically challenged) but do we really need to have so many bells and whistles? If my smart phone and computer can be easily hacked what would stop someone from hacking into my car’s computer? Nothing.

In 1996 General Motors launched OnStar, it was the first time that a hands free, voice activated, communication device was part of a vehicle’s make up. It was revolutionary auto technology and it seemed like a really good idea at the time. If your car broke down you had the ability to reach help quickly just by pushing a button. What could be easier? Since the creation of OnStar our cars and trucks have become more like driveable computers and computers can be hacked.

Recently a man took $100 and built a device that can hack GM’s OnStar system. The hacker was able to retrieve a home address, the last four digits of a credit card,lock and unlock the vehicle’s doors, and disable the vehicle’s alarm system The hacker contacted GM with his findings and, fingers crossed, all of this should be fixed sooner rather than later.

The more technologically advanced our vehicles become the more vulnerable they are to being attacked by hackers. Imagine a world where you are driving on a highway and suddenly you no longer have control of your acceleration, braking, or steering because your car has been hacked, should you crash into another car are you responsible? Will your insurance company cover damages due to a cyber attack? How can they determine who’s responsible if you crash your car because it was being remotely controlled by hackers? Until car makers build a car that is totally cyber secure I think I’ll remain as old school as I can, anyone have a 1972 Pacer for sale?


If you want to know just how “hackable” your current vehicle is click on this article from If you have questions about insuring your driveable computer please contact Hudson Valley Agents.