MIS4596-Tony Messina-Sec 002-Spring 2017

Ransomware: The Next Big Automotive Cybersecurity Threat?

A new type of hacking is beginning to show its head in one market that may not be expected; automobiles. Hackers are beginning to engineer methods in which to manipulate automobiles in multiple ways. Some of these ways are unauthorized entry into the vehicle, starting/stopping the vehicle, even cutting power to the engine mid trip.  Although we may see this as a niche group in which to “hack”, Car&Driver says this: “Approximately 250 million connected cars are expected to be on roads worldwide by 2020, according to a 2015 analysis by technology consulting firm Gartner, making connected cars the next potential market for hackers.” (caranddriver.com) Although it may seem like something only experienced hackers can accomplish, there are multiple guides and tools in which are readily available to amateur hackers which “hand-hold” the viewer through the process of hacking automobiles in multiple ways.

1.) Do you feel that automobile hacking is being taken into (reasonable) consideration when creating smarter, more tech friendly automobiles?

2.) Does this make you think about what brand/model/year of automobile you should purchase next? 


-Source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/ransomware-the-next-big-automotive-cybersecurity-threat/

4 Responses to Ransomware: The Next Big Automotive Cybersecurity Threat?

  • Yes I feel as it is being taken into consideration, but i do not believe that it is being taken seriously. Can you imagine the potential outcomes of someone hacking into your car while it is driving? The results could be fatal. It is a new technology, so these things are going to happen in the early stages. I hope that security for these cars are high once more begin to hit the market. This does not make me think about the brand of the next car that I will purchase. I enjoy driving and have no interest in a self driving car, especially with the security risks.

  • I don’t feel as though it is being considered seriously because the technology is still in its infancy and is not as pervasive. Currently TESLA is the only car manufacturer that has autonomous vehicles on the road, and it has strict no liability clauses in its contracts. As part of IoT, autonomous cars are susceptible to cyber security threats. More so than data privacy with smart/self-driving cars, I believe the security threat of a hacker gaining control of driving capabilities is a bigger physical threat. This threat does not make me think about which brand/model/year of automobile to get because the option to have a car drive itself, is exactly that, an option. Drivers can choose to drive themselves. That said, car manufacturers like Tesla send out automatic software updates, and this is something that is of particular concern if compromised.

  • I feel that hacking is being considered now by car manufacturers now that they have seen what hackers have been able to do. Especially since it’s been leaked that the government had a back-door to do these things for awhile now. It’s a big problem for them, because it’s not about someone’s personal information data (although we connect our phones to our cars and hackers can probably use the car as a middle-man, it’s not the biggest issue right now.) It’s about someone’s life, hackers could cut the power to your car on the highway and bam, no power steering, no electronic brakes, etc.
    No it doesn’t think about my next car purchase as I don’t plan on buying a new car anytime soon. I’ll stick with the 90’s and early 00’s.

  • I find this topic very interesting and we also did our last case study on a similar topic, so I have done a little bit of research into this. At the moment, I think that hacking is definitely being taken into consideration when creating smart cars. But I also believe that there is a lot more that needs to be learned and applied when it comes to the security of these cars. For example, autonomous vehicles are a new technology that is still being researched and developed. I think that although the technology is there, the security aspect is not perfect.
    I don’t think that this really has an impact on my next car buying decision.

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