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FBI warns of future car hacks, tells concerned car owners to 'contact us'

Eight months ago two security researchers proved that car hacking can happen and that it's not something that Hollywood conjured up. Now the FBI are now warning the public of potential vehicle cyber sabotage.

In a joint public announcement with the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, the FBI has released a warning to drivers about car hacking and over-the-internet attacks on their smart cars. The announcement, while not revealing that any new threat had been discovered since eight months ago, did indicate that the FBI has started to take vehicle hacking seriously.

The recommendations listed in the announcement by the FBI included: ensuring automotive software is kept up to date and that they are kept in the loop if model recalls are made due to manual security patches needing to be made; being careful about plugging insecure gadgets into the car; and keeping the network protected.

These recommendations came on the back of the advice from the two security researchers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who had hacked into a Jeep eight months ago, forcing Chrysler to recall 1.4 million cars.

Valasek, commenting on the announcement, said that there wasn't that much that hadn't already been stated in the previous eight months, but that while super delayed, “it's good advice… people take the FBI seriously”.

He also said that the most significant bit of the announcement was that anyone who believes they have had their car hacked to get in touch with the FBI as well as their vehicle manufacturer, as he and Charlie Miller had been bombarded with email correspondence about American's concerns over if their car had been hacked or not.

“Charlie and I get emails all the time from people who say ‘my car’s been hacked!'” he said. “The FBI is more than welcome to take that over.”

Filed in: News

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