— The world of connected cars is here and will only grow as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants all cars on the roads to communicate with each other to avoid accidents and help with traffic flow.
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology allows cars to "talk" to each other about their location and speed. Additional technology, known as vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), will allow those cars to "talk" to surrounding buildings, stop lights, etc., to further reduce accidents.
Connected vehicles use wireless communications and can be hacked, as seen in a hacking experiment conducted on a Jeep Cherokee that was sent into a ditch. Now researchers from the Netherlands claim connected cars can be tracked, and with common items anyone could purchase.
Researchers from the University of Twente and University of Ulm installed wireless interceptor stations at two intersections on campus and monitored a connected vehicle for 16 days. According to the security researchers, the connected car could be located on individual roads about 40 percent of the time. And that was done by using only two intersections.
At a cost of around $500 for the equipment, anyone could track a connected car and do it without the vehicle owner knowing. Researchers further said a knowledgeable person could build a wireless interceptor station for much less.
University researchers said although the connected cars are vulnerable to tracking, the tracking of a vehicle will be more difficult in a congested city due to numerous road intersections.