Cars connected with internet vulnerable to hacking

A nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog along with car industry technologists has issued a warning for all the cars that have Internet connections to safety critical systems. 

The report “Kill Switch: Why Connected Cars Can Be Killing Machines And How To Turn Them Off,” finds out that the cars are highly vulnerable to fleet wide hacks, if their safety systems are connected to internet. 

The automakers have disclosed this vulnerability to their investors, but they are compelling them to use the new features as it is very much fascinating to the market. 

“Connecting safety-critical systems to the Internet is inherently dangerous design,” said Jamie Court President of Consumer Watchdog.  “American car makers need to end the practice or Congress must step in to protect our transportation system and our national security.”

The report warns: “Recent reporting about United States efforts to counter Russian cyber-attacks with its own online infiltration indicate that we increasingly live in the era of cyber warfare. An attack targeting transportation infrastructure is a growing possibility.  Most concerning is that automotive industry executives are aware of these risks, yet are proceeding nonetheless to deploy these technologies, putting corporate profits ahead of consumer safety and national security.”

According to the Consumer Watchdog’s report, the car connected with an Internet kill-switch that physically disconnects the Internet from safety-critical systems. To stop this, the future designs should completely isolate safety-critical systems from infotainment systems. 

The report was prepared by a  group of more than 20 car industry engineers and insiders, but they choose to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs.