I LOVE TESLAS. The day my youngest child walks through graduation, I will be getting myself a graduation present. The ‘cool’ factor of these cars is not just the incredible design, but it’s the fact that they are one of the only car companies right now that have SAFELY jumped onto the Internet of Everything bandwagon.
Just like how your computer periodically updates itself, the Teslas do the same. It’s just like updating an app, and they even publish release notes – so cool! (With the latest updates, the car basically drives itself.)
So for the rest of us peasants, we have to deal with the risk of having our car compromised. There were a couple of guys who proved that you can hack a car and basically take over all of its functions – climate control, radio, and even scarier, the steering, brakes, and transmission. All over the air, using the same wifi networks you use every day. You can read about it here.
Here’s the problem: While hackers can compromise your car over wifi, the car companies can’t fix your vulnerabilities over the air. You actually need a USB stick to do it and if you’re not technical, you’ll have to bring it into the dealership for the update.
So the most hackable cars today are the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, the 2014 Infiniti Q50, the 2010 & 2014 Toyota Prius, and the 2014 Ford Fusion. If you have this car, please do your family a favor and make it a priority to get the update.
The OnStar app is also vulnerable to hacks. See here for a recent article on how people with the OnStar app can be compromised. Pay attention to these things and update, update, update!!
The government is now getting involved and trying to pass legislation to establish an auto security rating system. It’s a good idea, but for the 471,000 of us with vulnerable cars, it’s a little too late…