Locking More Than the Doors as Cars Become Computers on Wheels

Going back at least a decade, cars have been targeted by hackers, some who ended up working with the industry, others acting maliciously. But vehicles now carry far more electronic equipment, and autonomous driving, relying on sensors, cameras and radar, is on the horizon, with all kinds of ripe new targets.

Concern that cars could be seriously hacked — by criminals, terrorists or even rogue governments — has prompted a new round of security efforts on the part of the auto industry.

As far back as 2010, a disgruntled former employee at Texas Auto Center in Austin used a co-worker’s account to log into company software used for car repossession. He disabled over 100 cars, and owners who were up to date on their payments suddenly found their vehicles honking furiously, and unable to start.