Fun and games. We did all these things in test cars when I worked for an automotive supplier in the mid 1980s. Like these guys, we had to use a (much larger, heavier, slower) computer attached to the ECU module. They have it easy because they can just plug into the OBD2 connector and access the CAN bus that ties all the smart modules together. He even admits “we flooded the CAN bus with traffic” which is similar to when the hackers shoot a website down with DOS attacks.
Now if you want to believe any car is vulnerable to this kind of tampering by some nefarious means, that’s fine, you probably believe in global warming too because neither are supported by technical facts. There has to be a connection to the ECU bus, and most cars don’t have it unless you’ve got a diagnostic tool pluged in.
But as you consider your next car, think about how that neat Sync function or equivalent is now adding a wireless ECU to the vehicle, not unlike plugging a wi-fi card did to your old dumb non-networked laptop. Are there potential connective paths between the telematic and entertainment systems and the ECUs that control vehicle functions? Ask your dealer, I’m sure he’ll know ;-)
The only answer I can give is “maybe”. But one thing is for sure, if you don’t have that kind of wireless connectivity in the car, you’re immune, just like you’re not likely to get an internet virus if you don’t have internet connectivity. But what fun is that?
Well, get physical access (valet, car wash, etc), and attach an odb2 reader to a Wi-Fi (Raspberry Pi, $25) and then you’ve essentially enabled the mother of all extension cords.
How hard would it be for a well-financed organization to create a device that could be quickly and discretely installed and would provide wireless access? And burn away in a fire?