Cars increasingly vulnerable to hacking, FBI, NHTSA warn

Cars •increasingly vulnerableê to hacking, FBI, NHTSA warn

The FBI and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have issued a bulletin warning consumers that motor vehicles are –increasingly vulnerable” to cyberhacking and urging them to contact their dealer if thereês any question of hacking.

–The FBI and NHTSA are warning the general public and manufacturers of vehicles, vehicle components and aftermarket devices to maintain awareness of potential issues and cybersecurity threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles,” the bulletin said.

–An important step is being able to diagnose whether any anomalous vehicle behavior might be attributable to a vehicle hacking attempt,” the announcement continued. –Contact your vehicle manufacturer or authorized dealer and provide them with a description of the problem so that they can work with you to resolve any potential cyber-security concerns.”

Fiat Chrysler had to recall 1.4 million vehicles last year after hackers reported in Wired magazine that they were able to remotely hack a Jeep Cherokee and drive it into a ditch. The issue will escalate as cars are increasingly dependent on electronics for features, such as parking assist in the race toward autonomous vehicles.

The government bulletin referred to a report issued last year by security firm IOActive. The report said, –as new technology is added to vehicles, new attacks become possible.”

A particular point of vulnerability is vehicle software updates sent to consumers. –If a manufacturer issues a notification that a software update is available, it is important that the consumer take appropriate steps to verify the authenticity of the notification and take action to ensure that the vehicle system is up to date,” the bulletin said.

Dealers should ensure that customers especially those buying vehicles with more advanced connected features are well informed.

Download Bulletin PDF