More Connected Cars Face Threat From Hackers

WU staff | Features | July 27, 2015
More Connected Cars Face Threat From Hackers

In an attempt to make our life connect with the everyday objects, we are offering an free invitation for the hackers to fiddle with our life.

The latest recall 1.4 million cars by Chevorlet comes in the wake of a Jeep Cherokee being hacked. The vehicle was brought to a stop along the side of the high way by security experts, who were 10 miles away.

While this the first incident, this will surely not be the last.

For starters Chevorlet is not the only brand that builds connected cars. From Tesla, the most connected consumer cars, to Mercedes everyone is trying to meet the ever increasing demand for connected vehicles.

Recently, two security professionals Marc Rogers and Kevin Mahaffey said that they would reveal five unpatched vulnerabilities in the Tesla models.

A couple of days after the Jeep Cherokee hack, a Russian specialist Eugene Kaspersky revealed that the Formula One cars could be hacked by the activists. All the Formula One cars have on board computers and are internet connected. This means they are vulnerable.

The scariest of all the incidents was in May, when a cybersecurity consultant managed to hack into the computer system abroad an airliner and even managed to control the aircraft engine during flight. Just think if this done by a terrorist sitting thousand miles way.

Using the same theory and using the loopholes in the codes, people can hack into any of the connected device including the ones at your home and make them dance to their tunes.

Internet of Targets

While the ‘Internet of Things’ has been welcomed with open arms, it has also been dubbed as the ‘Internet of Targets.’

The situation is very similar to the 1990s when World Wide Web connected millions of homes and was prone to virus and cyberattacks.

So the hacks of cars is destined to come.

How Does it Work

Being connected means, the automobile or the airline has an on board computer that is connected to the internet. This also means, they understand the language used by the computers.

In cars, the key is to hack into the telematics unit of the cars. This is actually built to respond to drivers requests used to locate vehicles, unlock them or even start them.

The online activists find loopholes in the code, build malicious codes to take over the car’s control.

Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who hijacked Jeep Cherokee found accessible internet links to thousands of Chervolet vehicles connected over UConnect. UConnect is a wireless entertainment and navigation system.

The experts have warned that the next wave of attacks might be delivering malicious softwares to the car and then offering to repair it in exchange for a ransom.

The chances of this reality is bright as cars sold today can communicate with the outside world. They have satellite radios, telematics control units, Bluetooth connections and dashboard Internet links.

Along with this there is an ever increasing demand for the number of connected devices. The only solution for the manufacturers is to provide regular security updates for the softwares of these devices.

It might take more than a decade for the manufacturers to come up with a completely secure car. As a matter of fact most of the manufacturers refused to look into the dangers posed by the hackers.

But now the reality has set in and the work needs to done at a lightening phase to match the adoption of connected technology as well as the pace of the hackers. 

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