Many motorists have no idea that despite the best efforts of government, automobile manufacturers, and safety advocates, todays cars and trucks are now more dangerous than they used to be. Yes, they are designed to be safer but ironically, the cyber technology used to make them so is also the same technology that makes them more dangerous.
Imagine for a moment an extreme example in which a driver takes a trip to visit his family over the weekend. He turns on the radio but then remembers that a co-worker gave him a CD to listen to. Within seconds, the vehicle’s anti-lock brake system engages and a tractor-trailer rams into the car. Law enforcement officials respond to the crash and download data from the vehicle’s event data recorder to investigate what happened. The post-crash analysis shows the cause was sudden braking but not why. A more thorough investigation by a cyber-forensics investigator determines that the car’s controls were hijacked. How? Someone tweaked the CD with malicious code that penetrated the vehicle’s unsecure network and caused the intense braking to take place.