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Will your car fall victim to hackers?

Posted on January 14, 2020

Cyberattacks can take place almost anywhere, but have you ever heard of hackers from across the world taking control of your vehicle?

A recent article published by USA Today shares that the threat of people having their vehicles carjacked by cyberattackers is in fact real. You may be wondering; how can someone possibly hack into my car? The growth in technology gives rise to capabilities hackers never had before, such as hacking your car. For instance, these  computer hackers may have the ability to crash your navigation system, cut your brakes, disrupt your steering or even take control of your car.

Holly Hubert, a cybersecurity expert who retired in 2017 from the FBI in Buffalo, New York, said, “Since cars now are run by computers, vulnerabilities can be patched and mitigated just like any other computer. Automotive companies are aggressive in trying to find mitigation strategy for faulty code.”

In 2015 a study was conducted showing just how easy it is for hackers to take control of a connected vehicle using a laptop. Security experts took control of a car and crashed it into a ditch by breaking into its systems from only 10 miles away as they were sitting on their couch. All the hackers had to do was use a laptop and mobile device to access the cars onboard systems via wireless internet connection. While although there have not been any life-threatening cyber attacks on vehicles, experts believe there is potential for this to become a bigger issue in the future.

Car companies are making cybersecurity one of their top priorities in the new year. General Motors has noted that their new Corvette and Cadillac CT5 have new cyberprotections. In addition to General Motors, Toyota is using the same tools a hackers. The company has created PASTA (Portable Automotive Security Testbed with Adaptability), a system that allows anyone, even car owners, to explore connected vehicle engine control unit and search for vulnerabilities. 

The most important thing we can do as owners of a car is to be aware of hackers and educate ourselves on what to do if you feel like you may have fallen victim to a cyberattack. 

Tagged technology, Cyber Security, Apogee, 2020

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