US: report from senator signals potential security breaches of car data image

According to a new report from senator Edward Markey, a vocal congressional promoter of automotive safety, the recent surge in connectivity technologies has rendered cars potentially vulnerable to malevolent hackers.

They could use the breaches to gain control of vehicle functions or compromise the security of vehicle data – through the use of corrupted software. The access could be gained through a number of venues – from the high-tech navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspots, telematics systems to the more traditional tire pressure monitoring systems or even a CD that has been embedded with the malicious code. The study has been elaborated from the responses the senator received after sending questions in December 2013 to no less than 20 auto manufacturers. The senator’s office inquired about their approach on data security and privacy – with the report claiming that from the responses they could see that security measures to deny hackers access to vehicle systems or to stored data from onboard vehicle systems were vastly different from carmaker to carmaker.

The senator’s report also called for federal agencies to act swiftly and introduce new security standards, because the disparate strategies seem “insufficient to ensure security and privacy for vehicle consumers.” On the other hand, steps have been taken since the December 2013 inquires started – with automakers approaching in a more cohesive stance some of the issues that arose in the report. Back in November 2014 the auto industry’s two main trade associations – the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Global Automakers – came up with a new set of privacy rules for vehicle data and decided to establish a more consistent take on vehicle and data security.

Via Automotive News