The success of "white hat" hackers in remotely penetrating vehicle controls through aftermarket car-alarm systems has sounded a new warning in cybersecurity circles.
The hacks, carried out last year by a research team in the U.K., make plain that the entire automotive supply chain will probably have to be enlisted to ensure future vehicle security — including Tier 2 and even aftermarket manufacturers, experts say.
Being able to reach into a vehicle through parts made outside of an automaker's control represents a new wrinkle in cybersecurity. The vast and growing marketplace of aftermarket add-on electronics remains a largely unmonitored field of activity, said Ken Munro, a security researcher with Pen Test Partners of Buckingham, England, which conducted the hacks.
"There is so much more vulnerability," Munro told Automotive News. "In my experience, the OEMs are really waking up. But they have a lot of legacy product in the market already.
"My concern is not so much the OEMs, it's all their suppliers and the aftermarket."