Perhaps you have heard of malware and even had to use software to remove it from your computer. Malware is software that embeds itself to your computer and damages, disables, or collects information from your system. A report from Kaspersky, an Internet security company, claims there is a hacking campaign by a collective known as the Equation group using malware “that's unusually quiet, complex and powerful” and “exceeds anything we have ever seen before.” Personal computer systems, companies, and even governments are experiencing the effects of malware. Most likely, you do not consider your car to be a computer. It is just a mode of transportation. However, most of the automobiles on the market today have some sort of computer operating system.
In the wave of cyber espionage, Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey posed questions about the safety of our increasingly technological vehicles to automakers. The questions arose after researchers effectively hacked into some popular automobiles and tested controlling them by accelerating, turning, modifying the speedometer and so on. In theory, this vulnerability could cause safety concerns which include car accidents. Responses from 16 manufactures to Markey's questions revealed a deficiency in security to protect drivers from hackers.
The mass majority of all new cars sold today have some wireless accessibility to the cars' computer systems that are vulnerable to intrusions. Cars are being equipped with keyless entry, navigation systems, Internet access, and much more. Even self-driving cars are in the foreseeable future. With all of these computerized systems, automakers have neglected to prioritize protection from cyberattacks. According to Markey's team findings, vehicle protection from remote access is “inconsistent and haphazard across all automobile manufacturers.”
Automakers are in the process of making a set of principles to protect privacy and head off legislation on the matter. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says the auto industry is beginning an information and analysis center for existing or potential cyber-related threats. The Society of Automotive Engineers has a committee testing vehicles' vulnerability to hacking that is also setting standards to safeguard electronic control systems. As it is now, participation in these groups is voluntary.
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Jay Ciulla is a Phoenix personal injury and wrongful death lawyer.