Automakers Alarmed Over Vehicle Hacking Reports

Several automakers are alarmed over reports hackers can take control of vehicles. Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall for 1.4 million vehicles after cybersecurity researchers demonstrated Jeep Cherokees could be remotely hacked. A video was recently uploaded to YouTube showing hackers could kill Jeep Cherokee engines remotely. The company has issued recalls for vehicles made between 2013 and 2015 with 8.4-inch touch screens.

Finance news website Bloomberg now reports Fiat Chrysler knew of the hacking risk 18 months ago and waited to tell federal regulators.

However, Fiat Chrysler is not the only brand of vehicles that can be controlled remotely. Cybersecurity researchers are now warning the Tesla Model S sedan can be shut off while driving. According to the researchers, a new patch delivered six major flaws that could allow hackers to take control of the vehicles.

At the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas, the researchers responsible for the Jeep hack will demonstrate security flaws in General Motor’s OnStar navigation system. The conference is alluding to the possibility that many other vehicles could be vulnerable to hacking attempts.

Can Regulators Stop Vehicle Hacking Attempts?

Many new vehicles now have as many as 40 computers running 20 million lines of software code. Cybersecurity researchers have shown the sheer amount of code gives hackers many ways to commandeer vehicles. For example, the Jeep exploit took advantage of vulnerabilities in the vehicle’s radio.

Some auto industry experts believe the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lacks the resources and expertise to counter vehicle hacking. It is likely future updates on this issue will be abundant.

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