FBI: Cars Are Becoming More Vulnerable To Hacks

The FBI says consumers and manufacturers need to be more aware of potential cyber security threats to all motorised vehicles

The FBI has issued a stark warning that cars, lorries and other motorised vehicles are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber hacks.

Recently, security researchers have demonstrated how easy it is to hack connected cars remotely.

Significant control

They have been shown that criminals could gain significant control over vehicle functions by exploiting wireless communications vulnerabilities.

Ethical hackers have been able to shut down engines, disable brakes, affect steering, lock and unlock doors, control indicators and take control of radios and GPS.

FBI agent - Shutterstock - © Peter KimAlthough known vulnerabilities have been addressed, the FBI said it is vital that consumers and manufacturers are aware of the possible threats, and understand how an attacker may seek to remotely exploit vulnerabilities in the future.

“Third party aftermarket devices with Internet or cellular access plugged into diagnostics ports could also introduce wireless vulnerabilities,” an FBI spokesperson said.

Modern motor vehicles often include new connected vehicle technologies that aim to provide benefits such as added safety features, improved fuel economy, and greater overall convenience, the FBI spokesperson explained.

They added: “Aftermarket devices are also providing consumers with new features to monitor the status of their vehicles. However, with this increased connectivity, it is important that consumers and manufacturers maintain awareness of potential cyber security threats.”

While not all hacking incidents may result in a risk to safety – such as an attacker taking control of a vehicle – it is important that consumers take appropriate steps to minimise risk, the explained.

“Therefore, we 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.”

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