Over the past several decades cars have become increasingly high tech allowing for computers to take larger roles in the routine functions of the car. Computerized functions have been a boon to consumers, who gain greater reliability and efficiently, but it has also increased the vulnerability to criminal hacking.
Starting around the turn of the last decade, tech enthusiasts started toying around with the concept of hacking into cars. So called “white hat” hackers, who seek out exploits in technology so companies can fix them, successfully attempted to remotely disable a sedan’s brakes and allowed for companies to take hacking into consideration when developing future models.
Notably a study done by two researchers discovered vulnerability in Fiat Chrysler’s vehicles which caused a massive recall of 1.4 million vehicles. After the incident, the company created a tool for car owners to check for updates available to make their car safer whenever the Chryslers becomes aware of a threat.
The trend has become so troubling to automakers that most auto companies now employ entire firms dedicated to attempting to find exploits in their cars software. Tesla recently profited from such efforts when Keen Security Lab was able to remotely take over a Tesla Model S car. Due to the alert afforded by the security team’s efforts Tesla was able to create and distribute a patch before any nefarious parties could take action with the flaw.
The common theme between all these examples comes from the flaws being shared with the companies so that car owners can be made safe. To the public’s knowledge no criminal entity has yet determined how to remotely hack into a car, but, due to the lawless actions taken by entities within the federal government, that could soon change.
Researchers within the CIA have been working on creating tools to hack into consumer vehicles. While the spy agency is within its charter to create tools for espionage designated to keep Americans safe, their actions surrounding this technology have done the exact opposite.
The CIA has a horrific track record of keeping its hacking arsenal a secret. By seeking out exploits in automobiles without notifying automakers of their findings the CIA has explicitly endangered the lives of average Americans. Already, criminal entities are weaponizing the tools lost by the CIA and other government agencies. In short, the CIA created major dangers to the general public through both its own intentional actions and negligence.
The federal government should never engage in the production of tools that are specifically designed to target consumer products without notifying the producers of their findings. By creating and handling the technology so loosely the CIA has endangered the lives of countless Americans.
Congress needs to enact a Digital Bill Of Rights to ensure government agencies no longer create de-facto backdoor entries into private property that can be stolen by criminals, or simply abused by the government itself. Join FreedomWorks in pressuring Congress to update the laws to meet the needs of the 21st century by endorsing the Digital Bill Of Rights.