Smart cars in the Cyberisland
I went to one of the car sellers, and they were trying to sell me a car with a lot of gadgets. Despite being a hardcore geek, I prefer to avoid "smart" cars that are currently sold in Mauritius and elsewhere. This may come as a surprise for some of you. Read on.
Lack of transparency
Volkswagen was caught cheating on the emission test by tweaking the software of their engine to change its engine behaviour when it was passing auditors test for carbon emission. Volkswagen is apologising, and they want to "win back the faith of their customers". What about the other manufacturers ? Why should I trust them ? How safe are the other car makers ?
2 security researchers discovered a way to play around with the aircon, and sound of Jeep Cheerokees. Some security researchers claim to be able to remotely shutdown, and turn the wheel of a car while it is on the road. I'm pretty sure that the other car manufacturers are vulnerable to this. Just because it's german or the US does not mean it's security proof. A pattern is emerging: The smart car manufacturers are not investing in securing their products.
Electronic Frontier Foundation is fighting for the right to inspect the software running on a car. They did so in a US court. The car manufacturers wanted to make it illegal for security researchers to audit the security of cars. They want to hide behind repressive laws to prevent the security flaws from becoming public.
We can and should boycott smart cars until car manufacturers are transparent about the software running on their cars. Car companies should pay independent security companies to inspect the software running on their cars because LIVES are at stake.