Car manufacturers need to step back and reconsider the digital security of their products following the most recent case of vehicle hacking in the US.
That’s according to Professor Kevin Curran, a senior member of the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers.
Speaking to Autocar, Professor Curran said car manufacturers appeared to be more concerned with beating the competition to market with new technology, rather than fully testing its security. "I have a feeling they are rushing out features, and every industry can be guilty of that," he said. "I’d say there’s a rush to market and security is almost an afterthought."
Citing a lack of regulation in the automotive arena over the introduction of connected technology, Professor Curran said car makers should be following the example of the airline industry, where there are far more stringent security checks. "On planes, we have to rely on the airline manufacturers knowing better and erring on the side of safety," he said. "Why can the same not be true of car manufacturers?
"I would urge manufacturers to think, and I would hope there would be a think tank or body which can oversee the security of these devices. We’ve never been in the position before where someone can cause so much destruction to a car from such a great distance."
Hackers take control of Jeep Cherokee
Professor Curran’s comments on digital security come just weeks after two hackers in the US were able to successfully gain access to and control a Jeep Cherokee driving along a public road from a distance of 10 miles away.
The experiment, conducted for Wired magazine, showed how a car could be wirelessly hacked and controlled without the hacker being in close proximity. In the experiment, hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek used what’s been described as a flaw in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' UConnect infotainment system to hack the vehicle.