On Car Hacking Attacks

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Theresa Payton


Taken from: WBTV’s segment with Kristin Miranda, Protecting Your Cyberturf

There is nothing like a nice sunny day driving around town in your car, listening to your favorite music. But did you know that depending upon how you get your music, you might make your home computer vulnerable to hackers and also your car?

We have warned you before about being careful what you download to your computer. We have even warned you before that cyberhackers might be able to take over your car’s Bluetooth.

Just when you think you have heard it all, now savvy hackers can hack into your car a different way, through your favorite tunes. WBTV’s Cyber Expert Theresa Payton explains how they do it and how to avoid the car hack hijack.


  • Researchers were able to add an extra code to a digital music file.
  • They burned the music file, with the extra code, to a CD.
  • The CD was played in the car. By playing the music, it gave them access to alter the car’s stereo system to receive instructions.
  • From the altered system, they could communicate with other car components such as unlocking your doors or killing the engine.
NOTE: This method can also be used to infect your home computer so always make sure you only download music from legitimate music sharing sites.


  • Talk to your kids to make sure they understand to only download songs from legitimate sites.
  • Only download songs from legitimate sites such as iTunes.com or Amazon.com
  • If you suspect you might have an infected song, delete the song from all of your devices and throw away all the CDs that you have made.
There are many legitimate music sites. We have included two for you:

You can read more about what the researchers found when they tried to hack a car at The National Academies site: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/committeeview.aspx?key=49236

Cross-posted from Fortalice


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Roshan Jadhav I think automobile industry is aware about this kind of risks and they are working on the defenses against threats.
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