McAfee has hired the infamous Barnaby Jack to hack into cars, reports PC Pro UK.Jack is a researcher who shocked the world when he demonstrated ways that crooks can force ATMs to give them cash. He also showed off a trick that causes medical pumps to spit out lethal doses of insulin.
Computers are taking over our cars, doing everything from checking our email to automatically stomping on the breaks for us. But there’s a dark side to that, too — hackers. So, security firms like Intel’s McAfee unit are on the offensive, trying to find the holes and come up with new anti-virus products and services to protect us from car computer malware.
So far, there’s been no reported violent hack attacks on cars yet. But security scientists have long ago proved it could happen, at least in theory. In 2010, several researchers produced studies about hacking into cars, altering tire pressures at high speeds, breaking into diagnostics computers, preventing a moving car from using its brakes.
Car makers have been taking these hacks seriously. Ford and Toyota say that they’ve got their own security experts making sure that their in-car tech can’t be used by the bad guys.
Security researchers are not convinced.
“You can definitely kill people,” John Bumgarner, chief technology officer of the US Cyber Consequences Unit told PC Pro. That means more protection is needed, particularly attention from “white hat” hackers like Jack.