One of the main concerns about Internet-connected and especially autonomous drive vehicles, at least to me, has been security, or more to the point, the egregious lack of security. At the outset, the auto industry down-played the threat, then last year a Jeep was hacked to prove that autonomous vehicles were vulnerable soft targets.
And now the Justice Department agrees
Moreover, the Justice Department wants automakers to improve auto cyber security. Rightly so. John Carlin, U.S. assistant attorney general for national security had this to say: “If you were able to do something that could affect a large scale of an industry—like 100,000 cars—you could see that being in the arsenal of a nation-state’s tool kit as a new form of warfare.”
It’s funny because those of us who raised concerns about the cyber security of increasingly connected vehicles thought maybe one car or two cars, individual isolated incidents. I hate to sound like a member of the tinfoil hat squad, but for our government to think that hacking could occur on a massive scale like Carlin references is a little disconcerting. It makes me wonder what the government knows that it’s not telling us.
Regardless of the possible scope of vehicle hacking, the government is right. Shocking, I know. The auto industry is investing millions if not billions of dollars into new technology and connected cars.
I have to say, that Carlin’s suggestions that the auto industry voluntarily step up its cyber security measures, is a little weak, don’t you agree? I say that because in the rush to usher in this new era in car tech, security wasn’t even a thought for the industry. I appreciate the lack of government intrusion in this instance. But I also wonder if the Justice Department is so concerned with nation-states and fringe terror groups taking over vehicles—plural—don’t you think this is an instance when the government should shepherd the companies in the direction they should go? If nothing else for uniformity of security’s sake. Otherwise, you might have different levels of security and vulnerability varying per manufacturer and maybe even per car.
On the positive, at least we are being proactive and not reactive. But what do you think? Should cyber security be voluntary with some government guidelines, or should the government regulate cyber security among connected and autonomous cars?
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My Final Thought:
is kind of funny and sad:
I guess words, or memes in this case do hurt.
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, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host.
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