Can a computer virus make your car sick?

Wednesday, 7 May 2003, 10:10 AM EST

You may have heard the one about the motorist who followed the satellite navigation on his Beemer and ended up in a river.

There's no danger of a virus attact on BMW cars' computer systems, says the German manufacturer.

How about the driver who received a virus on his car phone which went on to corrupt the engine and braking systems?

Well, the second incident has not happened - yet. But some experts feel it is just a matter of time.

Modern cars have become so computerised that many mid-range models pack more computing power than the garden variety laptop.

High-end models now come with online services that expose the vehicle to the outside world in more ways than one. Will such exposure make the car more vulnerable to hackers or viruses?

Mr Jaime Yaneza, a senior consultant with anti-viral specialist Trend Micro Inc, believes so. 'Anything which allows execution of code is a possible target,' he said, referring to the vulnerability of features which allow programs to run.

[ Read more ]


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