Senators Slam NHTSA

By Staff Writer June 16, 2020
Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)

Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), calling out the agency’s “dangerously reactive approach to cybersecurity” in Internet connected cars.

Their letter questions NHTSA’s “deafening silence” in response to demonstrated car hacks. .

“We are very grateful that Senators Markey and Blumenthal are pressing NHTSA for answers as to why it is not monitoring and protecting against the hacking of Internet connected cars,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “Our government needs a pro-active plan for the cybersecurity risks that spring from today’s fleet of connected cars.”

The Senators’ inquiry springs from a Consumer Watchdog report which details the cyber security risks of connected cars.

Are internet-connected cars cybersecurity risks?
Are internet-connected cars cybersecurity risks?

The Senators’ letters also follow up on their prior inquiry about the cybersecurity risks of internet-connected cars. In their original letter, the Senators asked NHTSA to share any information it has on the cyber vulnerabilities of connected cars, as well as any actions it is taking to protect the public from such threats.

In NHTSA’s reply, the agency claimed it is “not aware of any malicious hacking attempts that have created safety concerns for the motoring public.”

The Senators state NHTSA’s reply revealed that the agency is also neglecting to oversee and keep the public informed about over-the-air (OTA) software updates designed to fix safety defects in cars without a physical recall.

“We believe NHTSA must end its dangerously reactive approach to cybersecurity and do more to protect consumers before a malicious attack leading to a fatality occurs,” the Senators stated.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 17 June 2020 16:20