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FBI Issues Warning About Car Hacking

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That's 'hacking,' not 'jacking'

Whereas concerns about carjacking have been part of law enforcement for a long time, it's now the threat of car hacking that has the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The FBI recently put out a public service announcement warning the public of dangers associated with remote exploits of motor vehicles.

With many modern cars and trucks making use of connected vehicle technologies, the FBI said, the threat of hackers remotely exploiting vulnerabilities is very real.

Confirmed exploits

In its public service announcement, the FBI detailed some remote hacks on vehicles that have already been confirmed.

These included engine shutdown and disabling of brakes in vehicles moving at low speeds (5-10 mph), and manipulations of door locks, GPS systems, turn signals, radios, and HVAC systems in vehicle moving at any speed.

Tips to avoid hacking

The FBI also offered up a list of tips to help drivers maintain a secure vehicle environment:

  • Ensure that all vehicle software is up to date.
  • Avoid making modifications to vehicle software.
  • Exercise discretion when connecting third-party devices.
  • Be aware of who has physical access to a vehicle.

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.