US Energy Secretary: We Should Worry About Cars Getting Hacked

United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz worries more about cars being hacked than the electric grid being attacked, he said this morning in Las Vegas.
At the National Clean Energy Summit, former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta—now Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman—asked Moniz if the prospect of cyber attacks on the electric grid keeps him awake at night.
"Yes," Moniz replied, but he suggested the electric grid was not the most vulnerable system.
"The grid is usually the poster child for the discussion," Moniz said, but DOE has been working with utilities to increase cyber security, training utility executives and helping them get security clearances they need to be fully informed of risks.
"We have a very effective working arrangement with utilities right now to increase cybersecurity."
More attention should be paid to other vulnerabilities, Moniz continued, such as major natural-gas compressor stations and private vehicles.
"We have to worry about the increasing intelligence in things like vehicle and traffic management. This is a big and growing threat. We are paying a lot of attention to it," he said.
Podesta asked, "So we should worry about our cars being hacked?"
"It's an issue," Moniz replied. "Information technology is so critical, and yet obviously it creates exposures that we have to stay ahead of. We always emphasize that this is not an area where a stationary defense helps. It's got to be a dynamic, continually evolving one."
Podesta asked Moniz why Congress has been slow to act on cyber security, and Moniz replied that cyber security touches many aspects of society and involves issues, such as privacy, that Congress has not yet resolved to its satisfaction.
Earlier this year Sen. Ed Markey's office released a report on the vulnerability of private vehicles to cyber attacks, which found that nearly all new vehicles "include wireless technologies that could pose vulnerabilities to hacking or privacy intrusions."
Markey's office surveyed automobile manufacturers and found that most could offer no information on past attacks and that efforts to prevent future attacks are "inconsistent and haphazard."
Only two manufacturers surveyed by Markey's staff said they could respond to attacks in real time. Markey's report did not reveal which two (I have the question in to his office and will update the story when they respond), but it did reveal that " Mercedes-Benz , Nissan, and Porsche did not respond at all" to that question.
Three manufacturers skipped Markey's survey entirely—Aston Martin, Lamborghini, and Tesla—according to the report. [Lamborhini's owners dispute this: "In reference to Lamborghini, they are part of Volkswagen Group of America and the team responded on behalf of the Group which includes Bentley, Audi, Lamborghini, Volkswagen and Bugatti," said Jeannine Ginivan, spokeswoman for the Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.]
Markey's office also surveyed BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen (with Audi), and Volvo.
Moniz appeared at the National Clean Energy Summit, hosted by Nevada Sen. Harry Reid. Political and economic leaders, including President Obama, who is scheduled to speak there this evening, are discussing domestic policy to advance alternative energy technologies.
Moniz called for increased training of cyber security professionals, an initiative partially undertaken by the National Nuclear Security Administation.
"This is a case where the training of professionals is not keeping up with demand."

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