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fingerprint on keyboardHacking a vehicle sounds like a scene from a Hollywood movie. A driver loses control of their vehicle to a hacker. The hacker can control the steering, brakes, accelerator and the door locks among other operations. The first question one may have is whether it is possible to hack into a vehicle in real life.

How to Get In

There are more than thirty wireless entry points that hackers can use to gain control of a vehicle. They include Bluetooth, the radio system, WI-Fi, and the tire pressure monitoring system among others. The more complex a vehicle is, the more the access points it has. It is because the complex vehicles offer a variety of these options and these make it easier for the hackers. You may wonder if any hacker has successfully used these entry points to gain access. The answer is yes.

In 2015, two hackers were able to get access into a Jeep Cherokee. They publicized the project so much that the company had to recall more than one million of the vehicles. Another group of firms working on a cybersecurity program managed to get access to State Police vehicles, a 2012 Chevrolet Impala and a 2013 Ford Taurus. The researchers were able to perform different operations. They include shifting gears, control the instrument panel and the engine, and lock and unlock the doors and trunk. Having this level of control can enable a hacker to cause a dangerous mechanical failure, including a failure of the power steering, breaks, or airbag.

Solutions to Vehicle Hacking

The ability of a person gaining remote control of a vehicle possesses a variety of risks. The first control is manufacturers designing systems with security in mind. They should perform various tests on the systems, detect any vulnerabilities and fix them. They should also develop systems that can detect any attempts by criminals to hack them. The system should be able to send an alert before the hackers fully gain control of the vehicle. Also, a system that can fight back when it detects illogical commands will help. For example, cruise control slows down your car if you are closing on another ahead of you. In such a situation a hacker would want the opposite to happen. The system should be designed to detect such illogical commands and block them.

Hackers pose a real threat to fleet operations, and indeed every business operation. It’s critical that we come up with robust systems to keep them out and provide adequate training to employees to prevent and mitigate unwanted data breaches. Of course, there’s no way to prevent all cybersecurity threats, so you need to invest in commercial auto insurance to protect your fleet investments.

The good news is these types of tech risks can be mitigated through specialized valuable add-ons like cyber insurance. They can be used to bump up the coverage on blanket general liability policies to protect you from a data breach, loss of income from ransomware, and plenty more. 

Talk to someone today for a free chat to discuss where we can help you reduce costs, increase coverages, and allow you to focus more on growing your business. Fill out the short form below and an expert will reach out for a no-obligation chat about how we can help.

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