How Vulnerable is your Car to Cyberattacks?

The emergence of smart cars has opened the door to limitless possibilities for technology and innovation – but also to threats beyond the car itself. New research from Michigan State University is the first to apply criminal justice theory to smart vehicles, revealing cracks in the current system leading to potential cyber risks.

“Automotive cybersecurity is an area we don’t understand well in the social sciences. While there are groups of computer scientists and engineers digging into some of the issues, the social aspects are extremely relevant and under-examined,” said Thomas Holt, professor of criminal justice at MSU. “As the technology gets greater market share, it’s critical to get ahead of the curve before there are issues we can’t rein in.”

As vehicles become smarter and more connected to WiFi networks, hackers will have more opportunities to breach vehicle systems. Connecting your smartphone through a USB port can give a hacker backdoor access to data from both your phone and your car. Additionally, Google Android users who can download apps from unverified sites are even more at-risk.