Ombudsman Alert: AUTO CYBERATTACKS COULD KILL THOUSANDS!

BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT

Ombudsman

Quoting from the Detroit Free Press, which was our source for our July 18 article “HEADLIGHTS MUST LEAVE THE DARK AGES:PART II,” we will now discuss the vulnerabilities presented to the auto driver who opted to connect the operation of his vehicle to the internet.

From Detroit Free Press: “Experts agree that connecting safety critical components to the internet through a complex information and  entertainment device is a security flaw. This design allows hackers to control a vehicle’s operations and take it over from across the internet…noting that by 2022 no less than two-thirds of new cars on American roads will have on-line connections to the cars.”

The Ombudsman Alert finds this most troublesome and likens it to the opening of a “Pandora’s Box” for autos.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), often discussed  in this column recently issued the following statement:

“The NHTSA is reviewing…every public safety question,,,For vehicle cybersecurity, NHTSA supports a multi-layered protection approach focused on vulnerable entry points, both wireless and wired…Manufacturers should report incidents, threats and vulnerabilities to the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center.”

The best suggestion offered to completely avoid the inevitable hacking of your vehicle’s computer system comes from the California-based Consumer Watchdog which urges automakers to install 50-cent “kill switches” to allow vehicles to be disconnected from the internet!

In conclusion, the Detroit Free Press states:

“Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility and consumers-along with automakers and their suppliers-need to be vigilant, Consumers should exercise good cyber hygiene in all they do, including properly pairing a phone to a car, deleting phone data from rental cars(if paired) and being active in doing the maintenance and updates as requested for phones and vehicles.”

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