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US to roll out cyber security guidelines to protect car industry

The US government is soon to release a new set of guidelines regarding cybersecurity best practices for the automotive industry, it has been confirmed.

US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx made the announcement at the recent Billington Cybersecurity Summit, which was held in Detroit. Attendees at the event included security experts, car manufacturers and government officials, all of whom discussed the growing importance of protecting cars from cyber crimes.

Mr Foxx urged car makers across the US to work together to help stamp out cyber crime across the industry by sharing information about cybersecurity to make sure that future vehicles are protected.

Mr Foxx told the attendees: “There is no one company that can do on its own what all companies can accomplish together. For better or worse, government has a reputation for moving slowly … but we hope that our guidance, when it is released, will break new ground.”

The new guidelines will allow the car industry to collaborate on how best to create new software to help guard against cyber crime and to pick up tips from other sectors who have traditionally focused more on cyber security.

While there is no reported case of a car being hacked by a cyber criminal, as cars are becoming increasingly linked to systems such as mapping and external navigation, the idea of cyber crime has gained more traction across the sector. The new generation of self-driving cars would also be vulnerable to potential cyber crimes, it was suggested. Indeed, Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president of global product development, told the Detroit Free Press: “We cannot underestimate the risk.”

Automakers across the US have been working alongside the US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in order to develop the new guidelines.

Thomas Kirchmaier, vice president of military contractor General Dynamics, told the newspaper: “Given the importance of our national security, we really do not have a choice (when it comes to collaboration), and I think the auto industry is at that point as well. Defeat the bad actors for the sake of your industry, your company and your country.”

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