Automakers Team Up To Fight Hackers with Car Security Consortium

Oct 23, 2014 03:30 PM EDT | Tim Healey

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Hackers are increasingly considered a threat to the safety and security of automobiles as more and more vehicles feature connectivity that make them vulnerable. So it's not surprising that the auto industry would form a consortium to fight hackers who would cause harm to vehicles and their owners.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers have gotten approval from the federal government to form the consortium. The goal is to create secure firewalls in each vehicle to facilitate safe wireless car-to-car electronic communication, while also keeping data sent to the cloud secure.

Automakers seem to think that one of the best ways to do that is to be able to communicate quickly with one another about any security breaches that may occur. Of course, another goal will be to make it hard for those breaches to occur in the first place.

"The goal is to make it very, very hard" for hackers to infiltrate a vehicle's security system, David Strickland, former director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told Automotive News. Strickland now works as a consultant for Venable LLP and is doing some consulting work on the project for one of the automakers, according to AN.

"Can you make it a zero risk? No, but you want to make it so hard that you can foreclose most opportunities," Strickland said.

While there haven't been many cases of hacked cars causing harm to people or property so far, it's been demonstrated that a car can indeed be hacked, so it's smart of the automakers to get out ahead of any potential problems.

That doesn't mean the consortium will automatically be successful, but it's nice to know the industry is aware of the issue. We'll see if our cars can stay safe as driver-aid and car-to-car communication technologies improve.

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