A big number of U.S. drivers are concerned about the cybersecurity of their connected vehicles, says HSB, a provider of cyber insurance services.
A poll commissioned by HSB and carried out by Zogby Analytics showed that 37 percent of surveyed consumers in the USA were somewhat or very concerned about a cyberattack and some even believe a hacker could confront them over their car audio systems or disable automotive safety features.
“Our cars are more connected than ever,” said Timothy Zeilman, vice president for HSB. “It’s hard for consumers to keep up with rapidly evolving vehicle technology and they wonder if their privacy and personal information is protected.”
Thirty-five percent of respondents feared that a virus or cyberattack could damage their vehicle’s data or operating system.
In addition, eleven percent of respondents drive an electric vehicle and half of them fear that charging stations could be a point of entry for attackers. This is particularly plausible since 36% of consumers owned smartphone apps connected to their vehicles and 24% had Wi-Fi or mobile hotspots for connection on the road.
Fifty-one percent of consumers who sync smartphones or other devices don’t know what personal information is stored in their vehicle’s entertainment system and therefore, apprehensive about the safety of this data.
According to the poll results, 10% of consumers reported a hacking incident that had affected their vehicle; this is up 3% from a similar HSB poll the previous year.
Many drivers are even concerned not only that their vehicle could be hacked, but that attackers can take control over it remotely.
Interestingly, 46% of consumers were very concerned a hacker might communicate with them over their audio system and possibly demand a ransom payment.
Besides the intrusion over audio, respondents’ top concerns were vehicles being immobilized (25 percent), safety systems compromised (23 percent), and getting locked out of the vehicle (14 percent).