Governments are passing stricter guidelines to protect cars from hackers

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Our cars are more connected than ever, and that could also mean that they’re connected to folks with less than pure intentions. As our vehicles become smarter, they’re also becoming more susceptible to hackers, and as such, governments are looking to implement guidelines to keep the rightful owners of these cars safe. On Sunday, August 6, the U.K. government issued new rules that require manufacturers of internet-connected cars to abide by stricter cyber protections, protecting them against hackers.

“Smart vehicles are increasingly becoming the norm on British roads – allowing drivers to access maps, travel information, and new digital radio services from the driving seat,” the British government noted in an announcement on its website. “But while smart cars and vans offer new services for drivers, it is feared that would-be hackers could target them to access personal data, steal cars that use keyless entry, or even take control of technology for malicious reasons.”

As such, legislators have issued new government guidance to ensure the safety of car owners. Included in the guidelines are requirements for making systems capable of withstanding the reception of corrupt, invalid, or malicious data or commands, and allowing drivers to delete personal data that is held within a smart car’s system.

The idea is to ensure that engineers ultimately design the cars of the future with cybersecurity in mind.

“Whether we’re turning vehicles into Wi-Fi-connected hot spots or equipping them with millions of lines of code to become fully automated, it is important that they are protected against cyber-attacks,” Martin Callanan, a minister in the Department for Transport, said in a statement. “Our key principles give advice on what organizations should do, from the board level down, as well as technical design and development considerations.”

As Callanan concluded, “Our cars are becoming smarter and self-driving technology will revolutionize the way in which we travel. Risks of people hacking into the technology might be low, but we must make sure the public is protected. That’s why it’s essential all parties involved in the manufacturing and supply chain are provided with a consistent set of guidelines that support this global industry.”