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As Cars Get Smarter, Data Breach Looms Larger

Information will soon be wirelessly transmitted between your car’s dashboard (self-driving or not) and the traffic light you’re (painfully) still sitting at.

Say what?

As more of us gain access to “smart cars” with Bluetooth phone compatibilities, our vehicle’s central “brain system” has access to our contact lists, and other sensitive private data, like:

  • Bank information
  • Passwords and private notes
  • Payment apps like Paypal and Venmo
  • House alarm systems
  • Travel information
  • Schedules
  • Messages
  • Emails

With the recent data hacks in:

Is anything safe from cyber hackers these days?

Cars that can talk and drive themselves

The idea for any good tech, of course, is to make the world a better place. But with this new information technology, cars are primed to be the next big target for big data hackers.

According to Jalopnik.com, cars won’t only be driving themselves —they’ll be transferring traffic conditions and the weather to each other and other objects. ‘Connected’ cars will be giant, moving sensors with endless output of radio signals. But if car manufacturers aren’t careful, this new form of data-sharing could be susceptible to hacks and cyber threats to our personal lives and safety.

We’ve all heard of self-driving cars by now, and the lawsuits that come with them (See: Uber vs. Google), but the thought that cars will soon be communicating traffic and weather conditions with surrounding city objects, in order to soften traffic, is mind boggling… and, in terms of data security, scary!

BMW learned that the hard way, when a simple “fake” cell phone network easily accessed user information when their connected cars passed through the network.

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A connected ecosystem of vulnerable data

Traffic lights are not the only foreign, government-owned objects that will soon collect your personal transportation data and send it to thousands of receivers, every time you press the gas.

Street signs, traffic cones near construction sites, and other objects will all soon form a giant ecosystem of data-sharing vulnerability. Michigan is already testing out the new tech with its construction sites, in order to let oncoming traffic know information before they enter a given zoned area.

Did someone say traffic jam?

Fewer accidents, but at what risk?

Driverless cars that can talk to each other means less traffic and safer roads, they say. But car companies are already poor performers when it comes to cyber security.

In fact, many car systems are “laughably” easy to hack.

Chrysler had to recall 1.4 million vehicles after a pair of hackers overtook the controls of a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and forced it to die in the middle of the road last year.

“Imagine if instead of cutting the transmission on the highway, we’d turned the wheel 180 degrees,” says Chris Valasek, one of the hackers, who performed the hack for WIRED magazine. “You wouldn’t be on the phone with us. You’d be dead.”

Hackers… so charming!

A year later, Valasek said that the 2015 Jeep’s digital system was as vulnerable as ever. To paraphrase: “I can now control the brakes, and bring the car to a complete stop in a matter of seconds, from anywhere in the world, no matter how fast the car is moving.”

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But his hack was flawed, as Chrysler Jeep responded that the controlled hack needed a computer physically wired into the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic (OBD) port, and present in the vehicle when the hack commenced.

Score 1 for big business, 0 for WIRED hackers.

Imagine all these cars communicating in real time… would they be stuck in traffic?

The FBI is paying attention to car hacking

Here’s what they had to say back in 2016:

Modern cars often include new connected vehicle tech that provide benefits such as additional safety features, better fuel economy, and a more convenient experience overall, they said in a PSA.

Aftermarket products also give consumers new features that monitor vehicles statuses. However, with this new, powerful increased connectivity, it’s important that consumers and manufacturers maintain awareness of potential cyber security threats.


Would you take less traffic for less security?

According to a study conducted by INRIX Inc released in February 2017, traffic jams cost U.S. drivers an average of $1,200 per year in wasted fuel and time. In Los Angeles, those numbers are even higher.

So, that begs the question: how much is your data security worth to you?

It seems like everywhere we go, our data is being hacked these days….

Luckily, the award-winning attorneys of Wilshire Law Firm are working every day to hold big corporations who don’t protect their loyal customers’ data accountable. With a series of class action lawsuits, Wilshire Law Firm is proud to represent consumers all throughout California who have been affected by data breaches.

Currently, we are accepting class members in the following categories:

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More details on each class action:

Brooks Brothers (Retail)

U.S. clothing company Brooks Brothers has admitted that some of its customers have been the victim of an 11-month data breach, in the United States and Puerto Rico. If your credit card data was compromised, after shopping at Brooks Brothers and Brooks Brothers Outlet retail locations (between April 4, 2016 and March 1, 2017), please file your legal claim below with Wilshire Law Firm.

LEARN MORE: retaildatabreach.com

Caliber (Home Loans)

National mortgage lender Caliber Home Loans has admitted that, on or about January 18, 2017, unauthorized individuals gained access to the lender’s clients’ personal data, including but not limited to: social security number, driver’s license number, military and/or other government ID number; as well, date of birth, financial account names, numbers, statements, digital signatures, health insurance information.

LEARN MORE: homeloandatabreach.com

Sabre SynXis (Hotel Reservations)

Did you book a hotel? If so, hackers, might have your personal and financial information, including but not limited to: full name, card number, security pin, date of birth, address, travel information and potentially more. The hotel you booked uses Sabre to make reservations. Sabre is responsible for your data being stolen.

LEARN MORE: hotelguestdatabreach.com

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