The Wall Street Journal

The dangers of the hackable car

As cars go increasingly digital—and connected—cybersecurity experts worry that they also are becoming a lot more vulnerable

Hackers may have a new target in their sights—one that’s just as central to everyday life as computers are.

Our cars.

As vehicles fill up with more digital controls and internet-connected devices, they’re becoming more vulnerable to cybercriminals, who can hack into those systems just like they can attack computers. Almost any digitally connected device in a car could become an entry point to the vehicle’s central communications network, opening a door for hackers to potentially take control by, for instance, disabling the engine or brakes.

There have been only a handful of successful hacks on vehicles so far, carried out mostly to demonstrate potential weaknesses—such as shutting down moving a car and taking control of another’s steering. But security experts paint a grim picture of what might lie ahead. They see a growing threat from malicious hackers who access cars remotely and keep their doors locked until a ransom is paid. Cybercriminals also could steal personal and financial data that cars are starting to collect about owners.

Or they might get even more ambitious. Some experts warn of a day when millions of fully internet-connected vehicles will be at risk of

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal4 min read
How Old Is Old? Why the Feeling Can Hit at Any Age
“I feel old.” Those three little words pop into just about everyone’s head, often at random moments. Your back gives out after a workout. Walking by a store window, you catch a glimpse of yourself that looks like your dad. You’re at a concert, can’t
The Wall Street Journal4 min read
Should You Kondo Your Kids? The Decluttering Guru Offers Organizing Tips for Families
After Marie Kondo became an international star with her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” she went through another life-changing experience. She gave birth to a baby girl.Then she had a second one.Could Ms. Kondo’s decluttered world survi
The Wall Street Journal7 min readSociety
Bored? Underworked? You’re an Ideal Candidate for a Company Struggling to Find New Staff
RICHMOND, Va.—Pressed for workers, a New Jersey-based software company went hunting for a U.S. city with a surplus of talented employees stuck in dead-end jobs. Brian Brown, chief operating officer at AvePoint, Inc., struck gold in Richmond. Despite