Cars have never been more connected. Most new cars contain wireless technology for both entertainment and convenience. Unfortunately, these car tech systems can be wirelessly sabotaged by hackers. In today’s Tech Tip Tuesday, we’re providing you with the latest information available on this trending issue in the automotive industry known as Car Hacking.
1. Hackers Can Gain Complete Control
Car hackers are potentially capable of controlling the majority of your vehicles vital functions. Engine, steering, transmission, brakes, horn, air conditioning, dashboard display, volume, and wipers can be affected remotely in certain vehicles.
2. An estimated 471,000 Vehicles Are Currently Vulnerable
According to Wired.com, 471,000 automobiles on the road are vulnerable to wireless hacking. This estimate continues to rise as hackers learn to infiltrate new systems. Fiat Chrysler fell in the spotlight early on with a viral video of a Jeep Cherokee being hacked, but weaknesses are being found in many carmakers systems. BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Ford, Audi, Porsche, Tesla, and Fiat Chrysler have all had hacker vulnerability.
3. Congress Is Getting Involved
With lives in danger, the government is paying attention to this issue. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey plan on introducing legislation that would require new vehicles to meet certain standards of protection from digital attacks. This legislation calls upon the NHTSA and FTC to create these standards.
4. Automakers Are Working To Improve Systems
Many automakers are working to create patches and updates to protect vehicles from wireless attacks. For example, Tesla has patched their Model S and FCA has released a patch for Dodge, Ram, Viper, Jeep, and Chrysler vehicles.
5. There’s No Need To Panic, Yet
At this time, the chances of your vehicles being commandeered wirelessly by a hacker are extremely small. It will take a lot more than just a teenager with a laptop to hack your car, as the process is quite complex. With automakers working hard to patch these potential issues, simply pay attention to any communications from the maker of your vehicle, as they may contain instructions to update your system’s security.