A Defensive Computing Checklist
by Michael Horowitz
The only defense, as far as I know, is to buy a Porsche Taycan SUV.
- February 28, 2023: From Cory Doctorow VW wouldn't locate kidnapped child because his mother didn't pay for find-my-car subscription You can't make this stuff up. Volkswagen has a car location/surveillance system that costs car owners $150/year. It's called Car-Net. VW makes money by selling information about the car to data brokers. But, when a VW was stolen with a small child in the back seat, they would not tell law enforcement the location of the car because the owner had not paid for the find-my-car feature of Car-Net. Maybe they made a mistake? Maybe this was marketing, designed to get all their customers to pay for the service?
- Serious software bugs: Web Hackers vs. The Auto Industry: Critical Vulnerabilities in Ferrari, BMW, Rolls Royce, Porsche, and More. January 3, 2023 by Sam Curry and others. Other cars with software vulnerabilities mentioned in the article are
Kia, Honda, Infiniti, Nissan, Acura, Mercedes-Benz Hyundai, Genesis, Ferrari, Spireon, Ford, Reviver, Toyota, Jaguar, Land Rover and SiriusXM Connected Vehicle Services. No defenses are offered. This article about these many bugs (Hackers discover that vulnerabilities are rife in the auto industry by Jonathan Gitlin for Ars Technica January 11, 2023) has responses to the problems from many car manufacturers.
- Serious software bugs: Researchers find bugs allowing access, remote control of cars by Jonathan Greig for The Record (November 2022). Researchers found two sets of flaws. One set affects Hyundai and Genesis cars, the other affects Honda, Nissan, Infiniti and Acura cars. The bugs allow remote access and control over cars made after 2012. Yikes.
- Spying: Cops Can Extract Data From 10,000 Different Car Models’ Infotainment Systems by Thomas Brewster in Forbes (December 2022).
- Cars spy on us: Who Is Collecting Data from Your Car? by Jon Keegan and Alfred Ng for The Markup (July 2022). A firehose of sensitive data from your vehicle is flowing to a group of companies you’ve probably never heard of. They identified 37 companies that are part of the connected vehicle data industry that seeks to monetize this data in an environment with few regulations. Based on a factory-installed cellular connection. No defense offered. The only car with privacy controls is the Porsche Taycan SUV.
- Cars spy on us: These Companies Track Millions Of Cars - Immigration And Border Police Have Been Grabbing Their Data by Thomas Brewster (April 2021). Cars constantly collect location and use information and that data can is provided to the government. In the last 18 months Customs and Border Protection and Immigrations Customs Enforcement officials demanded location data from three companies who collectively track the movements of tens of millions of vehicles: GM OnStar, Geotab and Spireon. No defense offered.
- Cars spy on us: Cars Have Your Location. This Spy Firm Wants to Sell It to the U.S. Military by Joseph Cox for Vice (March 2021). A company claims that it can locate specific cars in real time with data that comes from the cars themselves. The company is The Ulysses Group.
Cars often include sensors that collect information and transmit it back to the home office. Such vehicle telematics include the airbag and seatbelt status, engine temperature, and current location.
It is claimed that vehicle location data is transmitted on a constant and near real time basis while the vehicle is operating. For defense, Privacy4Cars.
- The Privacy4Cars app offers step-by-step instructions for deleting your personally-identifiable information from any car. The company also sells tools to help dealerships remove data from vehicles.
- How cars spy on the people using them: Insecure wheels: Police turn to car data to destroy suspects' alibis by Olivia Solon for NBC News (Dec 2020). Does not offer much in terms of defense.
- Cars spy on us: Your Car Knows When You Gain Weight by Bill Hanvey, CEO of the Auto Care Association. May 2019. Not much in the way of defense.
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