Consumers Worry Connected Cars Are Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

April 8, 2021

Consumers are increasingly worried about cyber attack vulnerabilities with connected and automated vehicles.

According to a new Munich Re/HSB survey of more than 1,500 U.S. adults, 37% of consumers said they were either somewhat or very concerned about both cyber security and safety of vehicles with internet connections and automated vehicles. Similarly, 35% expressed worry that a virus, hacking or other kind of cyber attack could damage or destroy a vehicle’s data, software or operating systems.

Underscoring the problem, one in 10 consumers reported a hacking incident or other kind of cyber attack affected their vehicle, up 3% from a similar HSB poll the previous year.

“Our cars are more connected than ever,” Timothy Zeilman, vice president for HSB, said in prepared remarks. “It’s hard for consumers to keep up with rapidly evolving vehicle technology and they wonder if their privacy and personal information is protected.”

Other findings from the survey:

  • 11% of respondents said they drive an electric vehicle, and 51% of that number either don’t know or are not sure what personal information is stored in their vehicle’s entertainment system.
  • 46% said they were most worried that a hacker might communicate with them over their audio system, either to coerce them or demand ransom.
  • 25% said they were most worried their vehicle would be immobilized by a cyber attack. About 23% expressed concern about having their safety systems compromised by a cyber breach, and 14% said they were concerned a cyber attack could lock them out of their vehicles.
  • 53% of respondents said they had installed Bluetooth in their vehicles; 42% had navigation systems, and just under 40% had vehicle safety sensors.
  • 36% of consumers said they owned smartphone apps that connected to their vehicles; 24% said they had Wi-Fi or mobile hotspots providing internet service on the road.

HSB commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct the cyber/auto survey in December 2020.

Source: HSB

This article first was published in Insurance Journal’s sister publication, Carrier Management.