In today’s day and age, cars are no longer merely the mode of transportation they were 50 years ago. Instead, they’ve become Internet-connected entertainment machines as well as complex computers. And like other complex computers, they are vulnerable to viruses and malware. But the surprising twist on this automobile virus vulneravility is the delivery method developed for this malware: simple .mp3 files; meaning, all it takes to gain complete control over a car is an audio CD.

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These days, it seems like hackers can control everything in our world with an Internet connection. We’ve covered, at length, the possibilities these fiends have found in everything from emails and smartphones to Web-enabled televisions. Now, it seems, even our cars are at risk of cybercrime.

As with everything, computers have permeated a substantial amount of a car’s functions (windshield wipers, tire pressure control, automatic ignition, power windows, etc.). In total, some luxury cars have up to 100 million lines of software code; all susceptible to potential hacks.

The good news, however, is that in order for a run-of-the-mill computer criminal to gain access to these car systems, they typically have to break into an automobile and go inside the dashboard to reach the computers. More experienced hackers could find a way to gain access through a car’s wireless entry points (ie. satellite radio, crash-response systems), but these methods are much more difficult.

It would seem that the headache of breaking into a car would outweigh the benefits derived from an automobile hack; but, as we’ve seen countless times, there doesn’t need to be any more reason for computer criminals to hack something other than the fact that they can.

(Via Discovery News) / (Image by Windell Oskay, licensed under Creative Commons)

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