McAfee Study Warns of Increased Hacking Activities Due to Advancements in Car Computer Systems

As in-car computer systems become more advanced, hackers may soon start hacking cars, security solutions provider McAfee warns.

According to the report "Caution:Malware Ahead" released by the company, hackers may soon be able to exploit emerging vulnerabilities in in-car security systems.

The company predicts that hackers will be able to gain control of everything from the car’s engine to its door locks once they hack into its computer system.

Manufacturers are increasing the use of embedded computing systems in cars, which are used for airbags, entertainment systems, electronic stability controls, anti-lock breaking systems, communication systems and automatic cruise control.

"As more and more functions get embedded in the digital technology of automobiles, the threat of attack and malicious manipulation increases," said Senior Vice President and general manager for McAfee, Stuart McClure.

"Many examples of research-based hacks show the potential threats and depth of compromise that expose the consumer. It’s one thing to have your email or laptop compromised but having your car hacked could translate to dire risks to your personal safety," he added.

McAfee said that by exploiting vulnerabilities in a car’s computer, hackers will be able to remotely unlock a car, steal users’ location and steal data shared with the car’s bluetooth device among other nasty things.