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Modern vehicle technology not secure

February 10, 2015

New vehicles come with a range of modern technologies to make not only the driving more comfortable, but also improve the entire experience. From advanced safety features to touch screen displays to remote starters, technology has greatly updated vehicle features in recent years.

Vehicle technology may put drivers at risk.

However, Senator Edward J. Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, stated these technologies open the door for a great deal of risk due to lack of security measures in place to prevent hacking.

“Drivers have come to rely on these new technologies, but unfortunately the automakers haven't done their part to protect us from cyberattacks or privacy invasions,” Markey said. “Even as we are more connected than ever in our cars and trucks, our technology systems and data security remain largely unprotected.”

Inquiries to automakers

Markey reached out to 20 automakers, including Ford, Toyota and General Motors, asking what security measures were in place to protect the technology in vehicles against hacking attempts. Markey's office put together a report based on the responses, finding “a clear lack of appropriate security measures to protect drivers against hackers who may be able to take control of a vehicle.”

The report also noted most vehicle manufacturers offer capabilities for drivers to record driving history for later reference or to send to third parties. If intercepted, this could allow a hacker a great deal of information into a driver's private life and routines.

Innovations on the rise

As technology within vehicles, and everywhere else, continues to escalate in prevalence, it is important for manufacturers to put safety measures in place. People rely on technology for all sorts of reasons, and storing data is a big factor. However, while office buildings and cloud networks have integrated security systems, car technology manufacturers are a bit behind the game.

This can be detrimental to a driver not only because devices linked to the vehicle stores his or her data, but also because hackers can take over the vehicle, causing problems.

“I'm sure at some point, if hackers wanted to do something malicious to somebody, [they] could go to that extent,” National Digital Forensics president Giovanni Masucci said, according to NBC affiliate WNCN. “If somebody is out to get you—or do something or a kidnapping or whatever—and they can take control of a vehicle, it's pretty serious and [can] cause an accident.”

However, there are currently no documented instances of a hacker sabotaging a moving vehicle. Additionally, the report noted there is nothing that consumers can do to enhance security of their vehicles. Yet it seems a day is getting near when a hacker could steal a vehicle without having to be in it at all.

You should have auto insurance to protect your vehicle. While an insurance policy will not secure your vehicle from cyberthreats, it will cover your property in the event of an accident or attempted theft from hacking. In this modern world, there are greater risks. Seek an auto insurance quote to address as many of them as you can.