BOSTON: Intel’s McAfee unit, which is best known for software that fights PC
viruses, is one of a handful of firms that are looking to protect the dozens of tiny computers and electronic communications systems that are built into every modern car. Security experts say that automakers have so far
failed to adequately protect these systems, leaving them vulnerable to hacks by attackers looking to steal cars, eavesdrop on conversations, or even harm passengers by causing vehicles to crash.
To date there have been no reports of violent attacks on automobiles using a computer virus, according to SAE Inter-national, an association of more than 128,000 technical professionals working in the aerospace and the auto industries. Yet,
Ford spokesman Alan Hall said his company had tasked its
security engineers with making its sync in-vehicle communications and entertainment system as resistant as possible to attack.
A group of US computer scientists shook the industry in 2010 with a landmark study that showed viruses could damage cars when they were moving at high speeds. Their
tests were done at a decommissioned airport.