Hackers can pull off amazing feats in the connected age, from hacking cars and medical devices to interfering with major industrial systems and public utilities. Exaggerated versions of these hacks show up in movies, TV shows and novels, but are these flashy attacks actually possibly in the real world?
Marc Laliberte, Information Security Threat Analyst here at WatchGuard, broke down the real and fictitious elements of four of these Hollywood hacks in his latest column in Dark Reading. He looked at car hacking, smart home takeovers, healthcare device hacking and hacking utility systems, and found that each one is a mix of fact and fiction. These attacks usually aren’t nearly as dangerous as they seem in the movies, but each one contains a kernel of truth that should concern us all.
Here’s a quick sampling of Marc’s analysis on car hacking:
There’s more fiction than fact when it comes to car hacking. Remote car takeover hacks usually target either the entertainment system or the onboard diagnostic (OBD) port and both have serious limitations. Targeting the OBD port requires either physical access to the port (i.e., sitting in the back seat with a laptop) or exploiting a third-party dongle connected to the port…But this physical proximity requirement (either in the car or within Bluetooth range) is a huge limitation for attacks.