Cybersecurity experts urge automakers to take steps to stop hackers

February 3, 2016

As vehicles become increasingly more connected to smartphones, infrastructure and other vehicles, it will become vital for all parties to collaborate and become informed on the risks associated with connectivity, a panel of four experts said at an event in Detroit.

Car hacking has so far been limited and controlled in scope, but more widespread and consequential hacks could become more common in the future if automakers and consumers are not prepared, the experts said Wednesday at the Automotive Press Association luncheon. Connected cars can provide hackers with a large amount of personal data available to exploit.

“There’s more reason for an attacker to come after your vehicle because you have tons of data,” said Anuja Sonalker, North American vice president of engineering for TowerSec, an automotive cybersecurity company.

“You have credit card information in your car, you have driver’s license information, your [Social Security number] is probably in your car, all your emergency contacts.”

Cybersecurity became a larger issue for automakers and regulators last year after researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were able to exploit a Jeep Cherokee’s infotainment system and take control of it remotely.

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