Could a laptop break into your car?

We’ve already got enough worries to rob us of our beauty sleep, haven’t we? Well, it seems not. Now we need to stay up at night worrying whether a laptop could break into our car.

Recently I’ve been trying to stay cool despite concerns about global warming, terrorism, Ebola, the economy and whether someone might steal my naked selfies from my computer. Actually, I’m not too worried about the selfies, as they are all quite tastefully done.

However, any chance I had of getting back to a quiet life seemed to have been shattered by the news that laptops can be used to break into certain cars. It was confirmed that vehicles with remote locking are at risk and that hackers with equipment worth just £600 can open up doors as easy as pie.

A Barrage of Codes

The man who broke this news is called Silvio Cesare, from security firm Qualys. He explained how he used a software-defined radio so that he could listen to the signals sent out by car keys and then copy them. It isn’t exactly easy to hack a car, as the key codes change every time and he had to send out a barrage of possible codes before finally getting the right one. However, he got there in the end and proved that opening a car door with a laptop can be done.

Of course, this doesn’t work in every type of vehicle, with older ones being far more at risk. The exact model of the car used in the study wasn’t revealed but it was said to be over 10 years old. If you have a modern leased car with the latest security technology then even the world’s most powerful laptop couldn’t break into it.

So you can sleep easy if you have one of these modern cars but you will be careful with those selfies, won’t you?

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