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BBB: Drive a "smart" car? Beware of hackers

Posted at 9:30 AM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-25 11:30:19-04
As technology develops, so do our cars. Now internet connected "smart cars" are hitting the streets. The new features allow drivers to play music, use GPS and connect to Wi-Fi. But the convenience, comes with a potential drawback. The Better Business Bureau and the FBI say cars may be a target for hackers now.
 
"One recent study found that scammers can take advantage of security holes in the Wi-Fi connection to gain access to the car's computer. Once they get in, hackers can steal data or even take control of your vehicle. The FBI says connected car hacking is more of a possibility than a current, existing issue. But as more people purchase connected cars, con artists are bound to find ways to use them for scams," said Dale Dixon from the BBB.
 
To stay safe, treat your car like a computer. Dixon says to use the same common sense you would for keeping your laptop safe.
 
"Be especially cautious when allowing third-party devices to access your car’s computer for reasons other than vehicle diagnostics and maintenance. Keep your vehicle's software up-to-date. Manufacturers will do their best to patch security holes. System updates are vital for protecting your device," Dixon said.
 
You will also need to keep an eye out for recalls.
 
"If you receive a recall notice for an issue related to your car’s computer system, treat it as seriously as you would a safety recall. Get it taken care of right away. The notification will tell you how to get the problem fixed. Cyber recalls are regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration," Dixon said.
 
If you suspect your connected car has been hacked, contact the vehicle manufacturer or dealer. Provide them with a description of the problem so they can work with you to resolve any potential concerns.
 
For more information visit www.bbb.org.