• October 2nd, 2015

Even as its top official acknowledges cars have become a prime target for hackers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is struggling to address automotive cyber threats.

Mark Rosekind, administrator of the agency, wrote in a recent letter sent to select members of Congress that NHTSA intends to, “get out ahead of potential cyber-security issues on vehicles.” That goal took on fresh urgency in July when researchers remotely commandeered control of a Jeep Cherokee from halfway across the country.

In pursuing that objective, the agency charged with keeping American motorists safe has been hindered by a number of obstacles. Among the problems: an engineering staff spread thin, a long-discussed cyber hub that’s not yet operational, and a dispute in which NHTSA has distanced itself from the security researchers whose pioneering work first identified automotive vulnerabilities.