Move Along, Nothing to Hack Here—Viva la Cuba!


As Cuba and the U.S. moved towards normal relations, many cited easier access to legendary cigars as a prize benefit. But the Caribbean nation has something else that may prove just as valuable if you are looking to avoid being hacked while you drive to the grocery—a fleet of some 60,000 ancient U.S. cars held together with bailing wire and Soviet-era spare parts.

Cuba’s aging automobiles, kept running by a populace prevented from buying new vehicles for over half a century by embargos and poverty, may turn out to be just what the U.S. needs in the face of real and imagined threats involving Web-connected cars. 

Reports of white hat hackers commandeering a moving Jeep Cherokee through its entertainment system stoked fears of terrorists taking over buses from their drivers and driving them off cliffs. But if the most recent Jeep you’ve seen is a WWII model, then you have little to fear from Wi-Fi enabled cybercriminals. 

In short, if it isn’t an Internet-‘o-things-mobile,it can’t be hacked.

Apparently Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV knew for a year and a half that there might be a hacking vulnerability in its vehicles, including Jeeps, but waited to tell government regulators. Soon after the hacking story became public, the company recalled 1.4 million cars and trucks in the first auto recall prompted by cybersecurity concerns. That’s more than all the cars in Cuba.

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