Major Automakers Forge Alliance to Combat Cyberattackers

By Joe Rizzo August 25, 2015

If you take a few minutes to think about what hackers go after, you’ll realize that it is anything that has an Internet connection. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the increased connectivity in machine to machine (M2M) applications, that covers a lot of ground.

In July of this year, two computer security researchers demonstrated that they could easily take control of a moving Jeep Cherokee. This was accomplished using the car’s wireless communications system, which immediately raised new questions about the safety of Internet-connected cars.

They were able to control the vehicle’s air conditioning blasting cold air at the maximum setting. In addition, they were also able to take control of the radio and switch stations, as well as manipulate the volume. Not only were they able to operate internal features, they sprayed the windshield with wiper fluid and turned the wipers on.

Image via Shutterstock

You may think that would be enough, but the two hackers took the opportunity to present an image of themselves on the car’s digital display. It seems the company’s Internet-connected platform Uconnect, which is used to bring entertainment and navigation features to cars, has a big security hole.

I can understand that there is a time for secrecy when it concerns something like national security; what I cannot understand is why Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, maker of the Jeep Cherokee, waited 18 months before telling safety regulators about this issue.

In what we can assume is a response to the July incident, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers are forming a new group. The result is the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC), which is an attempt of offer greater cooperation between automakers when it comes to dealing with cyber threats.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is an association of 12 car and light truck manufacturers that includes BMW Group, Fiat Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche Cars North America, Toyota, Volkswagen Group of American and Volvo Cars of North America.

There are still a lot of details to work out but the hope is that this will be a place where the industry can collaborate in an effort to ensure vehicle security. The expectation is that there will be a full-time staff of security experts designed to deal with and predict security threats. Most major automakers and a host of suppliers will join.

In addition to the hack in July, the month also saw Sen. Markey and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), introduce a bill  to establish a clear set of security standards for automakers to adhere to with their connected technology.




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More