Experts are warning that hackers pose a significant risk to autonomous cars that could soon be on our roads.

Many believe that with self-driving cars becoming mainstream, there's a chance that computer hackers could take control of the car and use them to extort money from drivers.

The Insurance Information Institute has predicted that 25 per cent of all cars sold will be autonomous, and therefore at risk of hacking.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officers of Finnish cyber security firm F-Secure, told MailOnline: “There’s no question whether autonomous cars can be hacked or not.

“Nothing is perfectly secure. What is the motive? What are they getting out of it? Stealing cars or locking the user out of their own car until they pay a ransom are examples of potential financial motives.”

With the onset of so-called ‘Ransomware’ – a type of virus that infects computer system and restricts it until the user pays a ransom – many are unsure of the security and safety of autonomous cars.

This type of system virus could be adapted to infect a car, and not allow the driver to operate it until a sum has been paid.

A F-Secure threat report from 2015 said: “Ransomware was a popular payload for many of the most prevalent exploit kits detected in 2015, and has become an effective tool to extort money from both organisations and individuals.

“Ransomware families are designed to extort victims by locking them out of their devices and data until they pay a fee to the attackers.”

Jack Evans


After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.

March 16, 2016