Cyber Security 1st @GM for connected cars, new chief

Jeff Massimilla, GM Cyber Security ChiefGeneral Motors has named its first Cyber Security Chief,  Jeff Massimilla, who will manage and protect computer security features in GM automobiles. He was promoted after a review of design and engineering at the company.

GM has commented that because  semi-autonomous and autonomous systems are very critical systems level it is important for those systems to defect-free, secure and safe.

GM’s cyber security unit will work to protect data in cars and new automotive technology.

Massimilla formerly worked as the Director of Global Validation and as Engineering Group Manager of Next Gen Infotainment at General Motors. Massimilla has
BSE, MSE, MBA, Engineering & Business from the University of Michigan.

Currently there can be as many as 90 separate computer systems in modern cars. Hackers at security conference love to tout their ability to hack into cars, however most threats have been minor, thus far. The two big programmers who use connected car scare tactics are Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek who love to make a big splash in the news with cars hacked with their dashboards removed.

Prizes have been offered for hacking into Tesla cars and Tesla encourages programmers to find vulnerabilities and hires hackers. Kasperky Lab and IAB found that cars like BMW can be open to hacking. The Auto Alliance announced a proactive stance towards automotive cyber security. Engineers are working on devices called NEM that can prevent car computer hacking.

 Telematics West Coast will have speakers and panels about car cyber security. Recently, UC Davis and NXP  offered a seminar in automotive IT security. The Connect Car Expo at the LA Auto Show will have security events.