Cyber Terrorists ‘Could Kill Millions’ by Hacking Cars, Experts Warn

Modern cars could be used as a deadly weapon against citizens by terrorist hackers working for enemy states, experts have warned.

A computer scientist at New York University, Justin Cappos has said that it is possible to hack the computer system of any car built since 2005.

Some vehicles 17 years old are vulnerable to cyber attacks unless the car makers remove the vulnerability.

He said: “If there was a war or escalation with a country with strong cyber-capability, I would be very afraid of hacking of vehicles.

“Many of our enemies are nuclear powers but any nation with the ability to launch a cyber-strike could kill millions of civilians by hacking cars. It’s daunting.

“Once in, hackers can send messages to the brakes and shut off the power steering and lock people in the car and do other things that you wouldn’t want to happen.”

Dr. Cappos says this vulnerability should be treated as an 'urgent' national security issue, writes The Times.

Currently, there are nine million WiFi-connected cars on UK roads alone and all these cars are connected to more than 100 electronic control systems.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said new car manufacturers have to take responsibility for the security of the products and its customers.

“Manufacturers must be accountable. A lot only want to do the minimum — security can be expensive and too many see it only as a tickbox exercise”, he warned.