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Car hacking threatens vision of connected mobility

PA Consulting’s Justin Lowe, a security expert, is quoted in an article in the Financial Times. The article is part of a special report on the future of the car and looks at the growing risk of cyber attacks and fraudulent user accounts to connected vehicles.   

The industry is aware of the risks and has begun to incorporate cyber security from the earliest stage of design. Traditionally, safety and security in the automotive sector were treated as two separate disciplines in different parts of their organisations, says Justin: “Now they are starting to move together.” 

Justin goes on to talk about the need for car makers to get used to a customer relationship that lasts far longer: “Whereas a traditional petrol engine car can still be happily driven around after the manufacturer has stopped supporting it, connected vehicles will need ongoing support for their electronic systems.”  

He continues: “If someone finds a bug or vulnerability in the code or in the component systems, that will need to be fixed or protected against.”  

Justin points out that the industry has yet to address questions such as what happens if electric vehicle manufacturers go out of business. He concludes: “Who takes up the maintenance of that code? ... Would those cars just stop or remain vulnerable?”

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