Review: The Car Hacker’s Handbook

I don’t often review books, but seeing as I had a 7 hour flight to the UK this week, I decided to use it to read The Car Hacker’s Handbook by Craig Smith. Now this is a topic that should be top of mind because of some high profile hacks of GM and Chrysler last year that show that your car may not be as secure as you, or the people who made it, think it is. Like a prosecutor, Smith lays out why that is the case. He starts with how the various computers in cars work in a fair amount of detail, then he lays out why cars and so hackable and how you can do it to either improve your car’s performance, or to exploit a weakness to “pwn”the car. It sometimes is technical and those who are not a nerd like me will get the most out of this book. But those who aren’t tech savvy should not shy away from this book as it will show you just how vulnerable your car is. I’m also going to suggest that people in GM, Chrysler, among other car companies read this as well as they need to get with the program and make their cars safer and less vulnerable from hackers.

The Car Hacker’s Handbook should be available online and in fine bookstores everywhere by the time you read this review. If you are interested in what goes on behind the scenes when you drive your car, and how exploitable it is, this is a book worth reading.

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