The group and security experts warn that a fleet wide hack at rush-hour could result in a 9-11 scale catastrophe with approximately 3,000 deaths.
The report, "Kill Switch: Why Connected Cars Can Be Killing Machines And How To Turn Them Off," reveals that automakers have disclosed the high risk of such hacks to their investors, but are keeping the public in the dark as they market new features based on Internet connections. For example, Ford disclosed to the Securities Exchange Commission in its 10K filing that the company and its suppliers have been the subject of a malicious hack, but the public is blind to the facts.
"Connecting safety-critical systems to the Internet is inherently dangerous design," said Jamie Court President of Consumer Watchdog. "American car makers need to end the practice or Congress must step in to protect our transportation system and our national security."
The report warns: "Recent reporting about United States efforts to counter Russian cyber-attacks with its own online infiltration indicate that we increasingly live in the era of cyber warfare. An attack targeting transportation infrastructure is a growing possibility. Most concerning is that automotive industry executives are aware of these risks, yet are proceeding nonetheless to deploy these technologies, putting corporate profits ahead of consumer safety and national security."
A short video of car hacks, including Chinese hackers controlling the brakes in a Tesla can be seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=no3H7Gr_2Vc.