Vehicles 'increasingly vulnerable' to hacking, FBI warns

Software vulnerabilities in networked vehicle systems could create new risks

The FBI and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned on Thursday that the rising use of computers in vehicles poses increasing risks of cyberattacks.

The warning comes eight months after a high-profile demonstration published by Wired showed how a Jeep Cherokee could be remotely controlled over the Internet. Fiat Chrysler later recalled 1.4 million vulnerable vehicles.

Manufacturers see great promise in designing vehicles with advanced networking capabilities for everything from entertainment to fleet management.

But computer security experts have criticized the industry for not taking stronger steps to prevent software vulnerabilities that could have lethal consequences.

The FBI said that although manufacturers are now trying to limit the communications that can happen between different on-board systems, the linkages can still provide "portals through which adversaries may be able to remotely attack the vehicle controls and systems," the advisory said.

Third-party devices intended to be plugged into a vehicle diagnostic port can also "introduce vulnerabilities by providing connectivity where it did not exist previously," the agency said.

Some insurance companies offer telematic control units (TCUs) that plug into a vehicles' On-Board Diagnostics II (OBD-II) port. The unit can provide data to the insurance company, which can be used for risk profiling.

In August, University of California researchers showed how a dongle from Paris-based Mobile Devices Ingenierie could be remotely accessed. They were able to apply the brakes of a Corvette and turn on its windshield wipers. Mobile Devices Ingenierie issued a software update.

The FBI said consumers should pay attention if manufacturers issue software updates for their vehicles and also be cautious when connecting third-party devices.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?