Auto industry works to prevent vehicle hacking

- The auto industry has come a long way when it comes to gadgets and everyday convenience. Now, the technology is in overdrive.

Matthew Meisenbach runs M-COR Automotive. The Lutz company customizes vehicles to fit the technology needs of its clients. But there may be added security concerns to consider with the growing advancements.

"We're in that world where we're used to a phone in front of us. We hit a couple of buttons and speak to our phone and it does everything we want it to do. We want that kind of convenience every day in our car," Meisenback explained.

The potential for security issues were highlighted back in 2015 by two automotive cyber security researchers, who demonstrated how they could remotely hack into a car to stop it.

"Security is a compromise always between convenience and protection, so certainly cars can be hacked", said Josh Hartung, CEO of Polysync.

He was among those on the auto security forefront at the Detroit Auto Show. Polysync employees say they are getting ahead of the threat.

"I think that security has been an important backbone before they get out there, so I think those cars are secure and I think we're watching what the threats are," said Donna Satterfield of IBM Global Services.

It's something that future automakers will have to consider. Dean Bushey teaches a class at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland. His students learn the basics of autonomous systems and self-driving vehicles.

Bushey says researchers have highlighted ways to do things like turn on and off wipers, heating and air conditioning systems, and even turn the steering wheel. He says if it's a computerized function of the vehicle, it can be hacked.  

But he believes the manufacturers are on top of it.

"I'm optimistic. I think it's a challenge and I think we'll over come it," Bushey said. 

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