According to jaw-dropping new information exposed by WikiLeaks, the Central Intelligence Agency has the capability to hack into the personal vehicles of American citizens in order to carry out “undetectable assassinations.”
“As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks,” WikiLeaks said in a Tuesday statement. “The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.”
The Washington Examiner reported:
Most cars are now equipped with electronic brake control systems, and a number of systems, including acceleration, airbags, steering, door locks and entertainment system are controlled by sensors and computers, making them susceptible to hacking.
However, the risk of cars being hacked is nothing new. In 2014, two hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, demonstrated they could remotely hack the Jeep Grand Cherokee through its entertainment system and gain access to the vehicle’s other functions. Car companies and part manufacturers have beefed up security against such attacks, but the threat remains.
The FBI put out a public service announcement in March of 2016 to warn that cars are “increasingly vulnerable” to “remote exploits.” The notice offered information and tips to drivers on how they can better protect themselves, including ensuring a vehicle’s software is up to date.
There has been some movement in Congress to further shield drivers from the dangers of hacking. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced the Security and Privacy in Your Car Act of 2015, which would create a regulatory framework to better protect drivers as car technology advances.
The bill would have the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration devise cybersecurity regulations for car manufacturers and the Federal Trade Commission work on a rule that would keep drivers informed of the collection and use of data in their cars, and give them the power to terminate any such collection. The bill also sought to have the NHTSA create a “cyber dashboard” that would keep drivers informed about “the extent to which the vehicle protects individuals’ cybersecurity and privacy beyond the minimum requirements.”
The bill was never taken up by the Senate.