Automakers are so worried about vehicle and software security gaps that they are paying hackers to uncover vulnerabilities.
These bug bounty programs reward friendly digital invaders, known as white hat hackers, who look for breaches and notify automakers and suppliers of the problems — although the auto industry pays them considerably less for their efforts than some other sectors do.
Cybersecurity has become a major issue for the industry as cars increasingly rely on software, sensors and computers for operation, infotainment, automated driving and safety systems. Moreover, automakers are loading connectivity and subscription features that add to the digital vulnerabilities.
The number of publicly reported auto cyberattacks jumped 239 percent in 2022 compared with 2018, according to Israeli cybersecurity firm Upstream.