Connected Car Hacking
Researchers and cybersecurity experts working hard to keep hackers out of the driver’s seat.
Modern transportation has come a million miles, and most all of today’s vehicles are controlled entirely by digital technology. Millions of drivers are not aware that of the many devices in their digital arsenal, the most complex of them all is the car they drive every day. Vehicles are globally connected, smart, intuitive, adaptive, and loaded with assistive technology and because of this—vulnerable to attack.
Over the last year researcher have been conducting numerous proof-of-concept demonstrations to test the vulnerability of connected cars. Results are staggering, and range from potential hackers gaining unwarranted entry to completely appropriating control over the car. This includes controlling the media console and radio to actually hi-jacking pilot controls—steering, accelerating and braking.
It is a scary concept for consumers to think that their car can be taken over by hackers, fully controlled and stolen without the thief ever physically touching it. New research suggests that the only way to avoid security breaches is by integrating cybersecurity, cyber forensics and social media with advanced mobile cloud processing.
With completely autonomous cars on the horizon for the average consumer, and connected smart cars already in the mainstream, upping the ante in advancing security for our cars is at the forefront of cybersecurity research and IT specialist’s testing. Because once a hacker is in—he can pretty much do whatever he wants with your vehicle.
If protecting the safety of your own car isn’t enough to worry about—people who use Uber are about to have something else to worry about thrown at them. The company is launching a small brigade of about 100 driverless taxis in Pittsburgh. The fully autonomous vehicles are specially designed Volvos that will be picking up unsuspecting Uber customers.
(Image Credit: The Newswheel)
Initially there will be a person who sits in the front seat to monitor safety and to satisfy the regulation that currently prohibits cars from driving around without a human in the driver’s seat. If all goes well in Pittsburgh, it is likely that Uber will roll out their cars all over metro cities. For the testing period, customers receive their ride for free.
It is a grand idea, but in the scale of things, some worry that driverless taxis only invite hackers into another realm of illegal possibilities. The question remains whether people will take their ride from a car with no driver, which is where it is heading once legislation allows cars to drive around without a human behind the wheel.
Researchers have their hand full and are making leaps and bounds in cybersecurity. But law enforcement is looking into counter-hacking technology also, and advancements are evolving which allow officers to stop a thief-less car-jacking with some cyber-tricks of their own—but that is something for an entirely different article.
By CJ Callen