TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Mobile Virus Infects Lexus Cars

Mobile Virus Infects Lexus Cars

Marcus Didius Falco (
Mon, 31 Jan 2005 03:20:43 -0500

What is interesting is that this is the same sort of virus that affects
mobile phones and was discussed in the digest a couple of weeks ago.

------ Forwarded Message
From: <EEkid@ >
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 17:43:39 -0500 (EST)
To: <dave farber >
Subject: Mobile virus infects Lexus cars

Mobile virus infects Lexus cars
by David Quainton

Lexus cars may be vulnerable to viruses that infect them via mobile
phones. Landcruiser 100 models LX470 and LS430 have been discovered
with infected operating systems that transfer within a range of 15

"If infected mobile devices are scary, just thinking about an infected
onboard computer ..," said Eugene Kaspersky, head of anti-virus
research at Russian firm Kaspersky. "We do know that car manufacturers
are integrating existing operating systems into their onboard
computers (take the Fiat and Microsoft deal, for instance)."

It is understood the virus could affect the navigation system of the
Lexus models, it transfers onto them via a Bluetooth mobile phone
connection. It is still unclear whether the cars in question use the
Symbian operating system which has recently been under attack from
various worms and viruses.

"At this stage it's still early but it just goes to show that
technology has consequences," said David Emm, senior technology
consultant at Kaspersky. "It's scary stuff."

Vulnerable operating systems are increasingly moving onto a number of
different devices. Last year the Slammer worm infected 13,000 Bank of
America ATMs as a result of them moving to a Windows-based operating

"I've even seen screenshots of major commercial aeroplanes with
Windows 2000-based operating systems," said Mikko Hypponen, director
of anti-virus research at Finnish firm F-Secure. "Cars are an obvious
target for viruses. It's okay if you don't use the operating system
for the engine and the brakes, but when you do ..."

Bill Gates is a known Lexus driver. In 1999 he auctioned one for

When contacted Lexus declined to comment. <> <> <>

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