TEL AVIV/BERLIN -- Germany's Continental is in advanced talks to buy Israel's Argus Cyber Security, whose technology guards connected cars from hacking, for about $514 million (US$400 million), Israeli media reported on Monday.
Cybersecurity experts have criticized the automotive industry for failing to do more to secure internal communications of vehicles with network-connected features.
The danger, they say, is that once external security is breached, hackers can have free rein to access onboard vehicle computer systems which manage everything from engines and brakes to air conditioning and infotainment.
Continental AG, the world's second-biggest supplier to automakers by sales, makes telematics control devices used to transfer data and enable communication between a vehicle and remote management tools such as web panels and mobile apps.
Carmakers say that any vulnerabilities in this area do not directly affect the critical safety features of a vehicle.
Founded in 2013, Argus has raised $38 million (US$30 million), including $33 million (US$26 million) two years ago from Magna International, Allianz , SBI Group and Israeli venture capital funds Magma and Vertex.
"This is not the first time such rumors have circulated and Argus does not comment on rum ours or speculation," a spokeswoman for Argus said on Monday.
Officials at Continental declined to comment on what they called "speculation."
Argus already collaborates with Continental. This month it jointly launched a technology for delivering over-the-air vehicle software updates with Continental subsidiary Elektrobit.