Terrorists could remotely hijack electric vehicles to use them in deadly attacks

The legal status of 'remote driving' that lets people control vehicles from afar has been placed under review, following warnings that these vehicles could be used by terrorists.

The UK's Law Commission has published a paper claiming that vehicles on British roads could be taken control of by individuals who are miles away.

Terrorists could use remote hacking to take control of electric vehicles or drones and use these to wreak havoc on innocent people, in what the commission has called "an issue of acute public concern."

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The UK government has called for manufacturers of remote vehicles, which includes drones, electric cars, and even farming equipment to build stronger cybersecurity measures to prevent such an attack.

The paper warns: "A concern is that a driver might find it easier to use a vehicle as a terrorist weapon if they are remote. This is because they would not be involved in the crash and would be able to maintain some emotional distance from their victims."

It adds: "Employers may need to vet remote driving staff, both to maintain the integrity of their systems and to prevent terrorists from being attracted to the remote driver role."

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The warnings follow revelations that thieves can unlock and control Tesla cars from miles away.

A cybersecurity expert said the Tesla's keyless entry system makes it possible for hackers to fool the car into unlocking the doors and even starting the engine.

The technique reportedly works with a number of cars that have a keyless entry system.

This followed another exploit discovered by 19-year-old ethical hacker David Colombo, who proved it is possible to hijack features in a Tesla car such as opening doors or changing the volume of the car stereo remotely.

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