The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a public service announcement about the dangers of cyber security threats in our vehicles.
The organization is trying to bring awareness to vehicle hacking to help consumers and manufacturers avoid it in the future. Thanks to the connectivity of new vehicles, the FBI says that the risk of a hacker stealing data from or remotely manipulating vehicle functionality is more of a likelihood.
Connections to a vehicle can be made through Bluetooth, WiFi or a USB port cautions the FBI.
The service announcement points to the case of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee that was hacked into last year by a team of researchers. Using the radio module’s wireless communication connection, the hackers were able to shutdown the engine, disable the brakes and control the steering at low speeds between five and 10 mph. At any speed, they could control the door locks, turn signals, tachometer, radio and HVAC controls.
Attacks made on the vehicle using WiFi had to be done within 100 feet, but the hackers were also able to access the vehicle using a cellular connection which can be done from anywhere within the cellular carriers network.
The FBI breaks down four different ways that consumers can help to minimize cyber security risks: ensuring your software is up to date, using caution when modifying vehicle software, maintaining awareness when third party devices are hooked to your vehicle and awareness over who has physical access to your vehicle.
The FBI says that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working towards improving cyber security of vehicles in the U.S., while automakers have established an information control center to provide a trustworthy way to exchange cyber security information.