Car thieves could exploit security weaknesses to remotely open and start a car, or a spy could listen to conversations inside a car, Stefan Savage, a professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering, told Bloomberg this week.
Savage was quoted as part of a story about a report from the National Academy of Sciences, detailing concerns that computers designed for entertainment could help highjack a vehicle's safety features.
"That has Hollywood action movie written all over it," Savage said in another story in the MIT Technology Review.
He and colleagues at the University of Washington authored a 2010 study showing that they could take control of a car, its locks and its brakes. They could even kill the vehicle's engine.
In response to these concerns, General Motors' OnStar division, which provides remote roadside assistance, increased its security budget almost tenfold in the past year, according to the MIT Tech Review story.