With every good development there is a danger. Automobiles use the same digital technologies that computers use, specifically, Bluetooth and wireless cell phone technology. Because of this, it can be susceptible to the same types of weaknesses, including the acquisition of computer viruses.
So is this something you should be concerned about or afraid of?
I certainly don’t think we should panic. After all, there are fixes for computer viruses so there are also fixes for auto viruses. But the best antidote to any virus is prevention, and the auto industry has done well to equip automobiles with safety features, firewalls, and security measures to prevent the download of viruses.
The auto industry is working with such computer security luminaries as Intel McAfee, well known for its software that detects and fixes computer viruses – often in realtime.
The biggest threat to automobiles where security is concerned is that a damaging virus could end up causing an accident, but so far that hasn’t happened. The truth is, automobile hacking is a rare instance. There have been very few reported incidents of auto hacking, if any. While there are people out there engaging in scare tactics, and some of the risks are real dangers, I’m optimistic that the auto industry has a handle on the security dangers. I’m also optimistic that dealer service departments can be a part of the solution.