Israel Could Protect Cars Built in Detroit from Cyberattacks

Israel says it has defenses against cyberattacks that could aid Detroit automakers building autonomous vehicles.

Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

Officials with the government of Israel say they believe their country can offer significant help to Michigan’s signature automotive industry.

Israel’s Consul General to the U.S. Midwest, Aviv Ezra, says his nation has developed defenses against cyberattacks that could help stop hackers from taking over a vehicle.


“Somebody had taken control of the car. Because today cars are actually computers on wheels. And you feel totally vulnerable.” — Israel Consul General to the U.S. Midwest Aziz Ezra

Ezra says it became clear to Michigan officials how easy it would be to hack into a vehicle when Gov. Rick Snyder drove a Ford during a recent visit to Israel.

“From a very remote distance location somebody had taken control of the car,” Ezra says. “Because today cars are actually computers on wheels. They stopped the car, they had the wipers starting to move, they had the doors locked. And you feel totally vulnerable. What do you do?”

But Ezra says his nation’s military has created methods to keep hackers from taking control of vehicles.

“Unfortunately (Israel has) been dealing with these things for many years, terrorism that has to do with cyber,” Ezra says. “And we have had the capability of really monitoring and then developing some of these solutions. The Governor was very interested in it.”


Snyder later said combining Michigan’s automotive know-how with Israel’s expertise in cybersecurity would be a win-win for both.

Snyder says he would like to see defenses against cyberattacks created by Israel incorporated as part of the ongoing development of autonomous vehicles in Michigan and the U.S.

Ezra talked about the possible synergy between Israel and Michigan with WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter.


Click on the audio link above to hear the full interview


  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.