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The next frontier for computer hackers: Your car




California Gov. Jerry Brown signed State Senate Bill 1298 that allows driverless cars to operate on public roads for testing purposes. The bill also calls for the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations that govern licensing, bonding, testing and operation of the driverless vehicles before January 2015.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed State Senate Bill 1298 that allows driverless cars to operate on public roads for testing purposes. The bill also calls for the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations that govern licensing, bonding, testing and operation of the driverless vehicles before January 2015.
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The message is clear from Google to all major automakers: The future of the automobile is autonomous. The year 2020 is when several car manufacturers plan to offer self-driving cars to the masses. But how safe are they from a hacking standpoint? It’s a question that those in the automobile and security industries are increasingly focused on.

Even now, cars are technologically sophisticated machines, where computer chips control multiple features--some more obvious than others. As internet connectivity in automobiles become a common feature, hackers are seeing opportunities. Security experts like Chris Valasek have hacked into cars to control the brakes, start the windshield wipers, and even cut the engine.

How “hackable” are our cars? What are automakers doing about the problem? What can consumers do to decrease risk?

Guests:

Paul F. Roberts, Editor in Chief, The Security Ledger, a publication covering all things cyber security in Boston

Chris Valasek, Director of Vehicle Security Research at IOActive, a security cybersecurity consultancy. Valasek co-authored a report with Twitter’s security engineer Charlie Miller on the most “hackable” cars in the market. That paper was presented in this year’s Black Hat security conference