The car industry is fast approaching a dangerous crossroads. As automakers embrace the digital age, there is growing evidence that cyber security may have been left behind in the race to incorporate the latest technology into new models.
Fiat Chrysler is the latest car manufacturer to own up to a major digital security flaw in its vehicles. It is now recalling 1.4 million vehicles in the wake of a highly-publicised story in the US’s Wired magazine detailing how software programmers were able to take over a Jeep Cherokee being driven on a Missouri highway. This is the latest in a string of in-car software vulnerabilities which have been identified by various carmakers. Last year, for example, BMW had to issue a patch for 2.2 million cars that link to its ConnectDrive platform.
The Fiat Chrysler recall, however, is being seen as a landmark event for the auto industry. Previous industry concerns over digitalisation have largely focused on security flaws that allowed hackers to open door locks or gain access to corporate networks via in-car infotainment systems.
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