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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?