Ford has announced a suite of security features to protect the personal information of millions of Ford owners from the threat of computer hackers and viruses:
* SYNC Firewall: With the launch of MyFord Touch for the 2011 model year, Ford is adding WiFi “hot spot” broadcasting through SYNC using a USB-connected broadband modem. To prevent unauthorized access and combat piggybackers, Ford has built in firewalls to both the wireless network and the vehicle. Using the SYNC WiFi system, a signal will be broadcast throughout the vehicle. Default security is set to WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), requiring users to enter a randomly chosen password to connect to the Internet. When SYNC sees a new WiFi device for the first time, the driver must specifically allow that device to connect, preventing piggybacking on the SYNC-provided signal.
* SYNC Phone Pairing Protection: The one-time pairing of a phone to SYNC is a simple process through Bluetooth wireless connectivity technology allowing up to 12 cell phones to be recognized by system. The short-range nature of Bluetooth technology makes SYNC’s connection to a paired cell phone’s stored information – contact lists and address books – possible only when the phone is inside the vehicle. If there’s no phone in the cabin, the wireless connection is broken and there’s no evidence of stored data for invaders to collect.
* Encrypted Jukebox: Ford’s onboard “Jukebox,” which allows customers to download music onto a hard drive, has built-in digital rights management and encryption features. The encryption is unique to each navigation unit, which means the hard drive can’t be removed, inserted into another vehicle’s navigation system and accessed. In addition, hackers can’t access the drive from another computer and enjoy those favorite tunes. Customers don’t have to worry about someone hopping in their car sight unseen, plugging in a USB stick and doing a quick download of their personal music library, either. The Ford proprietary encryptions protect any songs saved to the system’s digital jukebox – which can hold up to 2,400 tracks – from being moved or copied to another device.
* “Home” Protection: Ford also gives customers with voice-activated navigation the ability to protect their programmed destinations and addresses – such as “Home” – from unauthorized eyes. A valet mode can be engaged on the system that locks all programmed destinations from view unless a 4-digit PIN is entered with each ignition key cycle. MyFord Touch will also offer a valet mode.