Have you ever heard of jackware? In this day and age, we hear a lot about ransomware, spyware, adware and all kinds of other “wares,” but probably not jackware. However, it’s still malicious software that gets in and controls many devices whose main function is NOT digital communication. Your car is a perfect example of just such a device. Your car may have some communication abilities, but think of it like this: we’re looking at cars as simply a means to get from one spot to another.
Jackware is essentially a more specialized ransomware, which like its name suggests, gets in your software, encrypts your files and demands a ransom in order for you to unlock and get your files back. With jackware, it seeks to lock up your car’s ability to run until the ransom is paid.
The following is important to note!
Jackware has not actually been defined as an active threat just yet. It’s still a bit theoretical in nature, although we here at Tech Sentries are a bit doubtful of jackware being stopped. There are people constantly coming up with new ways to hack into our everyday lives and create chaos through our computers, software, telephones, and now even our cars if something isn’t done. Brand new cars are essentially fancy computers on wheels and so they are very vulnerable to jackware after they have left their manufacturing facility to be shipped across the world.
All last year, we heard about the Fiat Chrysler Jeep problem where the design process wasn’t stellar and many of the systems were wide open for hackers. So, we now know that in order to stop this problem, protection must happen during the design process. Car companies need to ensure consumers that everything they do with the car’s onboard computer is safe. For instance, many people now can control systems in their homes, such as alarms, lights, etc., all from their vehicles. If jackware really does become a huge reality, then your car is one more portal from which hackers can work their evil. Many smart cars now come with Wi-Fi capabilities and this could be a big problem if it’s not completely secure.
So How Do We Stop Jackware?
This is the million dollar question. Unfortunately, the world has not done a good job at all of deterring cyber crime. Hackers just get better and smarter at what they do, so the risk of becoming a victim is huge. In order to stop jackware, it would have to involve changing policies within major manufacturers, as well as staying ahead of the technical curve. Gone are the days when clicking on a link in an email was the only way to get hacked by ransomware. Millions of dollars have been paid to cyber criminals by desperate people trying to get their files recovered. Companies need to be employing the best anti-malware security they can find. We also need to actually prosecute the criminals behind the ransomware!
The question remains if ransomware will actually spawn a branch called jackware. It absolutely seems certain that this will happen at some point. One of our biggest concerns is that of self-driving cars. Any vehicle that is equipped with onboard computers is at risk for jackware.
The best way to stay safe and protect yourself from ransomware attacks—including the possibility of jackware—is to have the best protection available today. Tech Sentries stays on top of all the latest threats so you don’t have to.
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