Connected Cars in US Face Greatest Cyber Risk

Latest cyber data puts the US as a clear leader in the countries most targeted by hackers in the past 16 years.

The nation suffered 156 significant cyber-security assaults between May 2006 and June 2020 compared to just 47 attacks on the second most targeted country, the UK. These findings support statistics from Cybersecurity Ventures which suggests attacks are escalating and estimate that cyber-crime will cost the global economy $6Trn per year by 2021.

Naturally, as connected cars feature ever larger in the IoT network, questions of their use in a national cyber-security assault will have to be addressed by the automotive industry. A call for action has come from security specialist Specops Software after it analyzed the latest data from Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Significant cyber attacks are defined as cyber attacks on a country’s government agencies, defense and high-tech companies, or economic crimes with losses equating to more than a million dollars. The US has experienced the equivalent of 11 such attacks a year and one of the most recent, in May 2020, has been brought to light by the National Security Agency (NSA), who found that Russian hackers are exploiting a bug in a commonly used email server to infiltrate sensitive data from American organizations.

In second position, one of the UK’s incidents was the large-scale cyber attack deployed across the Labour Party’s digital platforms during the 2019 general election. Falling prey to 23 significant cyber attacks, rising powerhouse India ranks in third place, meanwhile, Germany is in fourth spot, having faced 21 substantial cyber attacks during the period analyzed.

Darren James, from Specops Software said: “No one can rest on their laurels when it comes to cyber-security. This research highlights the frequency of cyber attacks which have devastatingly affected key political, social and economic institutions within different countries. Whilst some countries have had to deal with more cyber attacks classified as significant than others, it’s an important reminder for those in notable positions of power the role they can play in providing the public sufficient and continual governance on what online best practices they can implement to prevent their IT estate from being exploited by opportunistic cyber criminals.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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