In Cyber Security, IT Advice

Modern vehicles are basically two-tonne connected, mobile computers on wheels. This makes them great for enjoying many modern comforts and technological innovations during long drives, but what’s not so great is that hackers can use this connectivity to hack into your vehicle.

Once a hacker gets access to this technology, they also get access to your private information, steal your car or do even worse.

According to Asaf Ashkenazi, vice president of product strategy at Inside Secure, “The worst-case scenario is that they can completely take over and control anything in your car, from the brakes to the steering wheel. The scariest scenario is that you’re driving and they make your car crash.”

This actually happened last year in Australia where a man hacked into the database of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and took control of the steering wheel, disabled the brakes and shut down the engine. They went on more than 30 free drives before being arrested.

When 15,900 IT security practitioners and engineers in the automotive industry were surveyed, 62% of them said a malicious attack against automotive technologies is likely or very likely to occur in the next 12 months.

What makes the auto industry particularly vulnerable is that its cybersecurity practices are not keeping pace with the ever-evolving security landscape and, although automakers are becoming more aware of the threats, they’re having to call in extra help to protect motorists.

Am I in danger?

If you can unlock and start your car using an app, then a hacker simply needs to gain access to that app and your vehicle can be taken over.

What’s the best way to protect myself?

As always, the best way to protect yourself is with a strong password. Use special characters and multiple cases where possible. And always store key fobs in secure areas.

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