The FBI, Department of Transportation and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shared their concerns about the risk of 'connected vehicles' being the subjects of hacking attempts.
In a joint cybersecurity advisory, the three US agencies announced their growing concerns over the increase in attacks against connected vehicles, where vehicles are connected to the internet, namely remote exploits. The advisory warns people to be aware of the threats that are mounting against ever-more connected vehicles.
It tells people that if they suspect their vehicle has been hacked, then they should report it to the FBI.
The advisory noted that vehicles are coming with larger amounts of technology built-in that connect them to the internet:
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
However it then went on to explain the issues surrounding the hacking of vehicles and to remain alert:
With this increased connectivity, it is important that consumers and manufacturers maintain awareness of potential cybersecurity threats.
It also provides a few tips to help in protecting your vehicle from such attacks:
- Ensuring vehicle software is up-to-date
- Keeping an eye out for recalls
- Being careful when making modifications to vehicle software
- Exercising discretion when connecting third-party devices to vehicles
- Being aware of who has physical access to vehicles
A couple of automotive companies, General Motors and BMW, have released software updates to their vehicles in order to fix several security holes in the underlying software. Attacks ranged from being able to open the doors to being able to start the engine, remotely.
Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million of its vehicles in the US last year, after security researchers discovered a flaw in the software that allowed them to remotely control a Jeep.