Fox News on Tuesday advised viewers to revert to vehicles from the 1960s or even a “horse and buggy” because Al-Qaeda terrorists could take over the computer in their car and make it crash.
In a segment titled “Al Qaeda Behind the Wheel: How Terrorists Could Crash Your Car,” cyberterrorism analyst Morgan Wright said that it was a “fact” that “you can take control of a car” through systems like General Motor’s OnStar.
“My concern is when they not only just hack the car, they hack the systems that control these cars or have access to them,” Wright noted. “A lot of people say that’s far fetched, but one of my examples, you know, on Sept. 10th, 2001, we thought it was far fetched to fly four airplanes into a building, never thought it could happen. So, never say never.”
“So, what do we do has consumers?” Fox News host Jenna Lee wondered.
“Go back to the horse and buggy,” Wright laughed. “As these things come more connected, your car is loaded with maybe 70, 80 computers at a time, monitoring your emissions, your telemetry, your tire pressure, things like that. So again, maybe it’s a short-range thing, maybe it’s somebody controlling it from afar. But the point about it is the more connected we become as a society, the more vulnerabilities we have, because, guys, that’s just the Internet.”
Lee then wondered how concerned — on a scale of one to ten — should people be about terrorists hacking cars.
“Right now, I’d say on a scale of one to ten, it’s a one and a half,” Wright admitted. “There’s only one car out there right now, the Infinity Q50 that has a true steering-by-wire system that you could actually — if you could access to it — could actually control the vehicle.”
“We thought if you drove a 1968 Camaro, a 1963 Impala, maybe a 1965 Mustang, you wouldn’t have these problems, right?” Lee recommended.
Following the tragic death of Buzzfeed’s Michael Hasting, conspiracy theorists — including former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke — speculated that the government may have caused the acceleration and subsequent fiery crash.
But Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky took a look at claims of terrorists carjackings earlier this year and came to the conclusion that it was “fearmongering bullshit.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ Happening Now, broadcast July 16, 2013.