Donald Dunphy, NAFA Fleet Management Association
On July 21, tech magazine Wired ran an article wherein reporter Andy Greenberg got a front seat to a very scary show (http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway). The writer drove a vehicle under controlled conditions as a “human crash test dummy” while security experts Charlie Miller, with Twitter, and formerly of the National Security Agency; and Chris Valasek, Director of Vehicle Security Research at the IOActive consultancy, carjacked Greenberg’s ride in motion from miles away.
Miller and Valasek previously discussed how car hacks are accomplished in the September/October issue of NAFA’s FLEETSolutions magazine in 2014, along with Stefan Savage, a Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego; and Patrick Barrett, CAFM®, Director of Transportation Services with University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Their goal was to sound an alarm in the industry that car hacking was no longer a future threat but a very present one.
NAFA’s FLEETSolutions article, “Car Hacking: Preparing for the Future Now” sent a ripple of concern through the Association upon its publication. Wired Magazine’s experiment continues to prove this is a topic of utmost urgency. “I was driving 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold,” Greenberg stated at the top of his article for Wired. Rewriting code embedded in the vehicle’s entertainment system, the duo was able to take control of his steering, brakes, and engine, finally sending the vehicle into a ditch at the side of the road. No one was hurt in this controlled experiment, but it was Miller and Valasek’s mission to prove that car-hacking capacities are here right now and automakers need to address this problem before it extends beyond demonstrations. Mission accomplished.
“Vehicles are not becoming computers on wheels. They already are computers on wheels, with all the possibilities a computer has right now,” said NAFA Chief Executive Officer Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “When our magazine FLEETSolutions ran the article last year, the reactions ranged from shock to disbelief. As Wired Magazine proves, this is an issue that cannot be denied anymore.”
FLEETSolutions, NAFA’s official magazine, published bi-monthly, contains in-depth articles designed to educate, inform, and facilitate fleet managers to excel in their jobs. The magazine is developed to engage readership in the eight primary disciplines of fleet: Asset Management, Business Management, Financial Management, Fleet Information Management, Maintenance Management, Risk Management, Vehicle Fuel Management, and Professional Development.
FLEETSolutions provides survey results on the most important topics in the fleet profession; the National Safety Council “Safety First” column, found in each issue; and profiles of the best and brightest in fleet. FLEETSolutions is a benefit of being a NAFA member.
“NAFA is committed to bringing important subjects to light, not just with car hacking, but with fleet sustainability, safety issues, and regulation and legislation that affects drivers and fleets,” Russo said. “The car hacking article we ran in 2014 was a difficult decision to make, but a necessary one. NAFA is 100 percent committed to the safety and well-being of all drivers, and that dedication is reflected in every issue of FLEETSolutions.”