Cybersecurity Hacking Poses Risk to Automotive Industry

May 19, 2022

As the automotive industry continues to advance, the opportunity for hackers to infiltrate vehicle cybersecurity heightens. 

May 19, 2022—Recently, cybersecurity hackers were able to remotely start nine Honda models from nearby, including the Honda Civic LX and Honda Civic Hatchback.

This is a concerning issue that brings up the larger idea of automotive cybersecurity in general. In an effort to address this, Just Auto recently spoke with Bernard Montel, a technical director for Tenable EMEA for an article. 

Montel has been in cybersecurity for over 20 years, and credits the current trend of transformation across the automotive industry with providing an "in" for security threats. 

"The IT transformation is providing a lot of opportunities," said Montel in the article. "But with that also comes risk."

This risk is especially high for vehicles with newer technology, such as EVs. Hackers and cybersecurity attackers have more [opportunities] to collect and sell data through vehicles with a more fleshed-out electric infrastructure.

"From data we have, we can see that the number of cyber-attacks on cars increased to 125 percent from 2018 to 2021," Montel said. "This is a huge increase."

As the automotive industry continues to grow and offer more adaptations and services, Montel suggests that the industry takes this threat seriously. He mentions that the majority of the cybersecurity threats seen so far are related to third-party software supply chains.  

Understanding potentially vulnerable points in the car manufacturing process and implementation is crucial to preventing hacks. 

"I’ve got an app here and I’ve got myself a connected car; I can open the car, I can open the windows, I can run the fan, I can do a lot of things," Montel said. "By doing that I know that potentially there is a risk so this risk level needs to be managed and to be decreased as much as possible – but we know in our business that the risk zero doesn’t exist."

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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