Jackware: The New Ransomware?

In the past couple of years, the country has had a front seat as technology has progressed to unprecedented heights. The difference between cell phones and computers has blurred. The cloud has played host to an unlimited amount of space to both save data and store the knowledge of the world. Internet now appears near universal. Unfortunately, this rise in technology has also led to the rise of new and more damaging viruses than ever. Recently, places such as hospitals have been the victim of Ransomware attacks. For those unfamiliar, Ransomware is a form of virus that locks up a device or computer system and prevents it from doing anything whatsoever. Next, the perpetrator calls with a demand for a large sum of money in exchange for unlocking the system. If the situation isn’t time-sensitive, then the victim can contact the police who can get to work fixing the situation. For places such as hospitals this isn’t feasible. Patients are connected to important equipment keeping them alive. They don’t have time to wait for the police to figure out the situation. Now, the idea behind Ransomware seems more obvious.

Recently, technology has progressed to the point of self-driving cars. This has led to the hypothesis that someone could eventually implant something called Jackware in the vehicle. A form of Ransomware, the Jackware doesn’t just lock up the car and prevent it from moving. Jackware actually gives control of the vehicle to someone else. This is terrifying to people interested in self-driving cars, and appropriately so. The very idea of someone kidnapping the car with you inside or, worse, driving the car deliberately into an accident is something most of us would rather not think about.

It is important to understand that Jackware isn’t an actual virus. This is merely a hypothesis as a few news stories and technology shows have demonstrated how someone can potentially control a car from the outside of the vehicle. On the other hand, this is a very real possibility that car companies should consider when developing these cars. In fact, one major car company recently had to recall their cars due to vulnerabilities in the system. This is a major story that people should monitor, especially if purchasing a self-driving car is in your future.

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