The story and accompanying video of hackers remotely hacking into a Jeep as part of a Wired experiment last July had to seep into the minds of all drivers who saw it.
Proof of that is a recent Kelley Blue Book survey, which found that, although 42 percent of Americans support cars being more connected — and within that 60 percent of millenials — 62 percent of the country's drivers are scared that vehicles will be easily hacked into in the future. In other words, people want the latest technology ... they're just afraid of its ramifications.
"If you want all these features, security can't be an afterthought," Charlie Miller, who worked with Chris Valasek to infamously hack a Jeep Cherokee last year, told USA Today about hypocritical consumers wanting more connectivity but fearing hacking.
Being that the average age of cars on the road in the U.S. is 11 years old, current vehicles don't have the technology that could be hacked into.
"A car that's 10 or more years old, there's probably no way to hack it," Karl Brauer, senior director with Kelley Blue Book, told USA Today.
However, as those cars eventually conk out and are replaced with newer ones, the threat of more vehicles being hacked into looms as a serious danger. That's because automakers' newer models have more access points for cyber attacks, which can be delivered through vehicles' infotainment systems or through many other channels.
"So if you've got GPS or Bluetooth access or a Wi-Fi hotspot in your car — which is coming — there's a wide range of hacks for getting in," Brauer said.
Still, although Americans in this KBB survey reported being fearful about the chance of being hacked into in the future, that's not stopping them from seeking out the latest technology in the cars they buy.
"More than 33 percent of people out there have already decided that if they don't get the technology they want in one car, they're going on to another," Brauer continued.
That especially serves true with the younger generation, which seemingly counts not being able to text or make a phone call while driving as death.
"Millennials don't want to go anywhere without being connected, so auto manufacturers are appealing to that," Chan Lieu, a senior legislative adviser at the Venable law firm in Washington D.C., told USA Today.
Let's see if automakers can attain enough cyber security knowledge to put more drivers at ease about hacking threats in the future.