PHOTO: Cybersecurity is on the minds of US Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal. (photo via Flickr/BlueCoatPhotos)
Travel watchdogs Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have reintroduced two pieces of legislation that would implement and improve cybersecurity standards for cars and aircraft.
The two are both members of Congress’ Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; They have again proposed The Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act and the Cybersecurity Standards for Aircraft to Improve Resilience (Cyber AIR) Act.
The former asks the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to establish federal standards to secure cars and protect drivers’ privacy, as well as establishes a rating system—or “cyber dashboard”—that informs consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers’ security and privacy beyond those minimum standards.
In other words: Gadgets, USB ports and communications systems in cars are vulnerable. Three years ago, Markey delivered his own report which detailed major gaps in how auto companies are securing connected features in cars against hackers.
In the latter legislation—the Cybersecurity Standards for Aircraft to Improve Resilience Act—the senators are asking for the disclosure of information relating to cyberattacks on aircraft systems and to establish standards for identifying and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities to the United States commercial aviation system.
Last year, Markey and Blumenthal called on the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt regulations to ensure that aircraft and ground support equipment are not vulnerable to cyberattacks.
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“Whether in their cars on the road or in aircraft in the sky, Americans should be protected from cyberattack and violations of their privacy,” Markey said in a statement. “If hackers access the critical systems of a car or plane, disaster could ensue and our public safety could be compromised.”
“This critical legislation will help protect the public against cybercriminals who exploit advances in technology like wireless-connected aircraft and self-driving cars,” Blumenthal said.
“As technology rapidly advances, we must ensure the auto and airline industries protect their systems from cybersecurity attacks. Security and safety cannot be sacrificed as we achieve the convenience and promise of wireless progress.”