US government urges cyber security sharing for connected car threats

Cyber security concerns grow around connected cars

The US Department of Transportation has urged the automotive industry to share information and work with researchers to tackle potential car hack attacks.

Cyber security is rising up the agenda as the government pushes car companies to pay close attention to flaws identified by security researchers.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set out safety principles for 2016 that urge car makers to share knowledge on security flaws.

Part of this will be facilitated by an information sharing and analysis centre which should allow car makers to work together on developing a set of best practices to combat threats to connected cars.

These practices will look to establish common ways to combat generic threats and vulnerabilities in the computer systems of cars.

Another major part of the safety principles is to ensure that the automotive industry engages with external cyber security researchers to facilitate better threat detection.

Eighteen major car manufacturers, including Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and General Motors, have all committed to following the NHTSA principles, highlighting how the industry is aware that cars could be vulnerable to cyber attacks as they develop more connectivity.

Furthermore, the NHTSA said it wants to nurture participation in vehicle cyber security by the US government and the automotive industry.

“Government and industry working together, consistent with existing law, should encourage the adoption of safety technologies and advocate public investment in physical and digital infrastructure,” it said.

“As vehicle safety technologies increasingly assist in the driving environment, trust in these technologies becomes paramount.”

Potential car hacking is more than theoretical. Fiat Chrysler was forced to issue a software update for 1.4 million cars in July amid concerns that the onboard systems were vulnerable to remote hacking.

BT offered a hack testing service for connected cars last year in a bid to help the car industry combat hidden cyber security threats.

Concerns over cyber security in cars are only likely to increase with the rise of more internet connected systems that enable autonomous driving and the push towards fully driverless cars.

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18 January 2016 | 1:10 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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