My colleague Stuart Kwan, who perfectly embodies the union of car freak and identity geek, sent me to this mind-boggling “story of how a virus was transmitted from an infected mobile phone to the OS of a Lexus car, via Bluetooth. A whole new meaning to the word contagious.”
Lexus cars may be vulnerable to viruses that infect them via mobile phones. Landcruiser 100 models LX470 and LS430 have been discovered with infected operating systems that transfer within a range of 15 feet.
“If infected mobile devices are scary, just thinking about an infected onboard computer..,” said Eugene Kaspersky, head of anti-virus research at Russian firm Kaspersky. “We do know that car manufacturers are integrating existing operating systems into their onboard computers (take the Fiat and Microsoft deal, for instance).”
It is understood the virus could affect the navigation system of the Lexus models, it transfers onto them via a Bluetooth mobile phone connection. It is still unclear which operating system the cars in question use.
“At this stage it's still early but it just goes to show that technology has consequences,” said David Emm, senior technology consultant at Kaspersky. “It's scary stuff.”
It is the cross-technology nature of this exploit which blows the mind. The writing is on the wall. We need to come together as an industry and act in a concerted way.