Cyberattacks on vehicles see dramatic spike

Could your car be a cybersecurity risk?

Cyberattacks involving vehicles jumped 380% in 2022, according to a report from Upstream.

With most new vehicles connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and autonomous cars being tested, IT experts warn drivers and automakers need to take these threats seriously.

Some of the potential risks include hackers shutting down a vehicle remotely, then demanding ransom payments if a driver wants to get it started again. Personal information can be exposed through a vehicle's software. And in some cases, cyberattacks have been shown to take control of cars remotely.

Chief Technology Officer of Cellular Solutions for Digi International Harald Remmert points to the early adoption of connected vehicles as a reason for the vulnerabilities.

"[Manufacturers] prioritized convenience over security. Some of the older cars out there are running systems that are five, six, seven, ten years old," Remmert said. "They are more vulnerable perhaps than the new models today."

A 2015 report from automakers said, "there is a clear lack of appropriate security measures to protect drivers against hackers who may be able to take control of a vehicle." That same year Fiat-Chrysler recalled 1.4 million cars and trucks in the US because hackers took control of a Jeep Cherokee SUV.

Remmert suggests drivers lock their vehicles, keep electronic keys in a secure place, and make sure any vehicle hotspots are password protected.

Share this article: