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Computer Experts Raise Concerns About Auto Industry Security

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Aug. 11, 2014—Technology security in the automotive industry was a hot topic over the weekend when thousands of hackers came together in Las Vegas Aug. 7–10 at Def Con 22, a convention for the tech-savvy.

I am the Cavalry, a group of computer experts, penned an open letter to automotive CEOs regarding potential security flaws in automotive computer chips and embedded software.

The letter highlights five key areas the group has asked industry leaders to consider and implement security features for, including:

  • Safety by design
  • Third-party collaboration
  • Evidence capturing when flaws or issues occur
  • Easy and regular security updates
  • Segmentation and isolation of the various components of a vehicle’s computer system – like separating the operating system the radio uses from the system the engine uses
     

“When the technology we depend on affects public safety and human life, it commands our utmost attention and diligence,” the group wrote in its open letter. “Our cars command this level of care. Each and every day, we entrust our lives and the lives of those we love to our automobiles.”

The goal of the letter, the group said, is to start a conversation and collaboration between security researchers and the automotive industry.

The group also started a petition to raise awareness of their concerns. To date, over 100 people have signed the online letter.

For more information about the group’s concerns, read the open letter here

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