As computers become more and more integrated with vehicle technology, concerns are being raised about the possibility of automotive-focused cyber attacks. From air bags to theft protection, navigation to ignition timing and many areas in between, computers aid in controlling various aspects of your vehicle. The good news is that there are already steps being taken to prevent attacks to these systems before they even begin.
Currently, auto engineers are building vehicles with security features to protect critical safety systems from such attacks. The potential for a security breach is growing, however, as automotive systems become increasingly connected to the Internet. With the promise of vehicle-to-vehicle communication in our future, it’s becoming more necessary to reinforce these systems. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the U.S. military is working in tandem with the automotive industry to protect commercial vehicles from hackers and criminals. The project aims at making vehicles invulnerable to these types of attacks. Christian Science Monitor also notes “there are no publicly known instances of a car being commandeered outside staged tests.” Meaning, while security risks are certainly possible, there have been no instances to report as of yet, showing that safety measures have so far been effective.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), otherwise known as the Pentagon’s research arm, is known to fund projects that test vehicle security, while Battelle’s CyberAuto Challenge brings together top high school and college students, automotive engineers, government personnel and researchers to partake in cyber challenges that will help reveal insights on cyber security.
Another initiative to protect the security of our vehicles is the Information Sharing Advisory Center (Auto-ISAC). The group, spearheaded by the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, aims to share information among automakers to quickly eliminate threats according to Automotive News. Also, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) established the Electrical System Security Committee, which was created to review challenges, capture solutions and draft standards to prevent cyber attacks in current and future vehicles.
As always, if you have any questions about your vehicle’s systems and safety, reach out to your local dealership.