We’ve been hearing about this for a while. Britain’s NCC Group said it has found ways to cyber attack your auto. In mid-July, U.S. researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller — who are researchers in the U.S. — said they hacked a Jeep Cherokee.
Car information and navigation systems and entertainment systems are the culprits. The researchers and their hacks reveal two important points: 1 — they can control your automobile completely once they’ve hacked into the system and, 2 — they can do multiple vehicles at once.
The second point is the scariest. NCC Group president Andy Davis told a BBC broadcast to imagine the chaos if someone wanted to take over autos on a freeway going at very high speeds. Or even at intersections with speeds that are considerably lower.
“As this is a broadcast medium, if you had vulnerability within a certain infotainment system in a certain manufacturer’s vehicle, by sending one stream of data, you could attack many cars simultaneously. An attacker would probably choose a common radio station to broadcast over the top of to make sure they reached the maximum number of target vehicles,” he said.
John Tiene of Agency Network Exchange said the idea of a cyber attack on autos has many auto insurance execs and risk managers grinding their teeth. And it’s something agents are going to have to be familiar with as well.
“This brings out a whole new area of expertise that agents are going to have to develop, and it’s going to create new products. The reality is there’s still going to be a huge responsibility and a huge need — maybe an even greater need — for professional insurance agents and risk managers to help car owners navigate what will be a much more complicated insurance world than it is today,” Tiene said.
Meanwhile, the first recall because of the threat of cyber hacking has happened. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV says 1.4 million cars and trucks have radios that put them at cyber attack risk — maybe.
But maybe or not, they’re recalling them.
Fiat Chrysler did it on its own but National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator Mark Rosekind said it has been considering fining the firm for the radio flaw. Experts disagree with Rosekind and say the response is because Congress is putting the heat on the NHTSA for not being faster at catching defects like this one.
“Launching a recall is the right step to protect Fiat Chrysler’s customers, and it sets an important precedent for how NHTSA and the industry will respond to cybersecurity vulnerabilities,” Rosekind said.
Fiat Chrysler head Sergio Marchionne said his company has found no defect in the system but it is acting out of caution. That said, Marchionne added he’s not aware of any — what he calls — “real-world” remote hacking of any of Fiat Chrysler’s vehicles.
BTW, Rosekind and the NHTSA set a record in 2014 by forcing the recall of 64 million vehicles.
Source links: Carrier Management and Insurance Business America