Could Hackers Steal Your Car?

Could Hackers Steal Your Car?

Hackers breaking into your email or stealing your identity have become almost commonplace. These days, when we think of ways to protect ourselves from hackers, we think about online security, better passwords, beefed up firewalls, and the best virus protection we can get for less than $50. But does that really protect everything that hackers can steal?

Not according to the latest developments in car theft. In the summer of 2016, a crime wave that sounded like something out of Minority Report made headlines all over the country. In the span of six months, a group of thieves managed to steal more than 30 cars from the Houston area without ever hot wiring a car. How did they do it? By hacking into the car’s software system, starting the engine, and driving off.

This wasn’t even the first big news of 2016 when it came to how thieves steal cars. Back in March, there were several stories about thieves hacking into keyless entry key fobs in order to steal cars. And let’s not forget the story in Wired from the summer of 2015 that featured a play by play of what it’s like to have your car remotely hijacked while on the highway.

All of these stories lead back to one common – and frightening – fact. Today’s cars may be more technologically advanced than ever before, but that also makes them more vulnerable to attack.

To be fair, some well-respected outlets, including Scientific American, claim the threat of having your car hacked is relatively low. But at the same time, there are at least 30 car owners in the Houston area who would beg to differ.

While the threat may be relatively low, the desire to protect cars vulnerable to this type of attack is high. Companies like Voyomotive and Hum by Verizon have thrown their hats into the ring with apps that can prevent a hijacked car from starting or repeatedly locking the doors to prevent the theft from taking place.

As technology evolves, it will present new ways for unscrupulous people to exploit others. But with the way technology moves so quickly, it also gives the good guys the ability to find news ways to protect what’s yours.

About the Author

Stacey Jo
Stacey is our reporter on the beat always on the lookout for breakthrough ideas, inventions, and stories about how humankind is advancing its mobility.