The Wired magazine’s revelation of the vulnerability of many Chrysler cars should not be dismissed as a “stunt” (“Cyber hack leads to mass car recall”, July 25). It was a serious demonstration of dangerously poor engineering.
Such poor engineering is commonplace in companies that develop computer-based systems, and it has led to the current cyber security crisis. Most system assurance relies on testing — yet we have known for decades that testing can only ever show the presence of errors and never the absence. Until manufacturers use mathematically formal engineering methods to assure the security of their systems, these vulnerabilities will remain widespread. All other engineers use rigorous methods and it is no longer acceptable that software engineers refuse to use the strongly-typed languages and proof tools that are available (and whose use has been shown to be cost-effective).