Hacking the Future

One of the great articles of 2015 was the story in Wired about how hackers remotely killed a Jeep on a highway with the author in the car driving at 70mph near downtown St Louis.

Science fiction had turned into science fact.

And it is in this context that a recently released United States Government Accountability Office report on vehicle cyber security is of great interest.

The report analyses the role of the United States Department of Transport in real life vehicle cyber attacks and the challenges that this type of attack brings.

The importance of this report is not only a well constructed discussion on this emerging issue but more so it discusses what are the key risks that need to be considered when a new way of doing things is invented.  For instance:

Selected industry stakeholders identified several challenges they face related to vehicle cybersecurity. For instance, the lack of transparency, communication, and collaboration regarding vehicles’ cybersecurity among the various levels of the automotive supply chain and the cost of incorporating cybersecurity protections into vehicles were the two most frequently cited challenges.

Additionally the report addresses an age old problem – the importance of clearly defined roles in the management of risks:

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken steps to address vehicle cybersecurity issues but has not determined the role it would have in responding to a real-world vehicle cyberattack.

This report should be of interest not only to anyone that drives a car – but to anyone that has the responsibility to mitigate emerging (non vehicular) risks.

As an aside – we do like how the GAO is increasingly using podcasts (in this instance a five minute summation) to broaden the audience that this report should reach. 

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