Electronic Setups of Driverless Vehicles May Be Vulnerable to Hackers

Any part of a car that talks to the outside world is a potential opportunity for hackers.

That includes the car's entertainment and navigation systems, preloaded music and mapping apps, tire-pressure sensors, even older entry points like a CD drive. It also includes technologies that are still in the works, like computer vision systems and technology that will allow vehicles to communicate with one another.

It will be five to 10 years - or even more - before a truly driverless car, without a steering wheel, hits the market. In the meantime, digital automobile security experts will have to solve problems that the cybersecurity industry still has not quite figured out.

“There’s still time for manufacturers to start paying attention, but we need the conversation around security to happen now,” said Marc Rogers, the principal security researcher at the cybersecurity firm CloudFlare.

Their primary challenge will be preventing hackers from getting into the heart of the car’s crucial computing system, called a CAN (or computer area network).

While most automakers now install gateways between a driver’s systems and the car’s CAN network, repeated hacks of Jeeps and Teslas have shown that with enough skill and patience, hackers can bypass those gateways.

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That includes the car's entertainment and navigation systems, preloaded music and mapping apps, tire-pressure sensors, even older entry points like a CD drive. It also includes technologies that are still in the works, like computer vision systems and technology that will allow vehicles to communicate with one another.

It will be five to 10 years - or even more - before a truly driverless car, without a steering wheel, hits the market. In the meantime, digital automobile security experts will have to solve problems that the cybersecurity industry still has not quite figured out.

“There’s still time for manufacturers to start paying attention, but we need the conversation around security to happen now,” said Marc Rogers, the principal security researcher at the cybersecurity firm CloudFlare.

Their primary challenge will be preventing hackers from getting into the heart of the car’s crucial computing system, called a CAN (or computer area network).

While most automakers now install gateways between a driver’s systems and the car’s CAN network, repeated hacks of Jeeps and Teslas have shown that with enough skill and patience, hackers can bypass those gateways.

Read Full Article