Almost every week some news account mentions electronic car-hacking and it appears to have been a problem for a long time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced last month that it was starting an investigation into whether a software security vulnerability discovered in radios produced by Harman International Industries Inc. that led to the 1.4-million Fiat Chrysler vehicle recall in late July has affected other manufacturers. The agency estimated on its website that another 2.8 million vehicles containing the same Harman Kardon “infotainment” systems as vehicles manufactured by Fiat Chrysler America US LLC were revealed to have software vulnerabilities that allowed hackers to remotely manipulate the car’s control system could be affected. The NHTSA report said:
This [equipment query] is being opened to obtain information from the supplier of Chrysler Uconnect units to determine the nature and extent of similarities in other infotainment products provided to other vehicle manufacturers. If sufficient similarities exist, the investigation will examine if there is cause for concern that security issues exist in other Harman Kardon products.
According to Harman’s website, the company produces radio systems for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Subaru and Volvo in addition to automobiles manufactured by Fiat Chrysler’s parent company FCA. We haven’t seen the end of the hacking problems. It’s a most serious matter and one that the automobile industry as well as the federal government must address. Because there is no time for delay, all concerned need to get busy.
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