Automakers show more concern for hackers’ efforts to exploit vulnerabilities in car computer systems

Automakers seem to be taking the car hacking issue a lot more seriously. They should be.

Over the last few years I have written quite a bit about car hacking and what laws may apply to such cases — such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Here is a post that references several of those posts: Hackers continue to exploit vulnerabilities in car Don't hack me, bro!computer systems.

This is a real threat and, as usual, the laws addressing it are well behind the times and the technology. This means that regardless of what laws may be used to address the sure-to-be-coming misuses, we will hear a loud chorus of folks complaining about it saying the laws are being misused. Happens all the time.

Fortunately, the automakers seem to be stepping up their efforts to at least make it more difficult for the hackers to give us the chance to apply the laws to their misdeeds. Here are some relevant quotes from an interesting article that talks about the efforts the automakers are taking to prepare for these activities:

One major association representing brands including Honda and Toyota is helping establish an “information sharing and analysis center” patterned after efforts by big banks to try to thwart cyberattacks.

“Before, when you designed something, you looked at how might components fail,” said Michael Cammisa, director of safety for the Association of Global Automakers. “Now, you have to look at how would somebody maliciously attack the vehicle.”

The so-called Auto-ISAC will allow participating companies to evaluate the credibility of threats and, in the event of an attack, let one warn others so they could test their own systems. The effort was announced this summer at the Cyberauto Challenge in Detroit, one of an increasing number of programs focused on auto hacking. Several days later, in China, organizers of a cybersecurity conference announced success in their challenge to hack a Model S made by Tesla Motors.

Another American company, General Motors, has checked how Boeing and defense companies create systems to repel hackers, according to Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president of global product development.

Cybersecurity is “one of the highest priority things that we have,” Reuss said. “We have got to make sure that our customers are safe.”

Read more: Automakers Aim to Drive Away Car Computer Hackers

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