The State of Cyber Hacking Connected Cars

The automobile industry, one that is significantly attractive to cyber attacks, is about to beef up its security after experts warn of vulnerability.

With operational security at a risk level, many experts warn that the automobile, along with the banking industry is lacking the right cyber security. And firewalls won't cut it anymore, ComputerWorld reports.

According to Charlie Miller, a security expert who recently demonstrated just how easy one could hack remotely into a car. Miller stated the following.

"If you hack into my car's head unit and change the radio station, I don't care. I can live with that."
She followed by saying.
"If you can hack into my head unit and make my brakes not work, then that's a different story. Let's stop the attack after they're already in."
It is obvious that both the automobile and bank industry are slow to adapt with today's technological advances regarding cybernetic hackers, Business Insider reported.

Just this week, Miller was able to hack remotely into a Chrysler Jeep's UConnect head unit or infotainment system. According to Miller, cybernetic hackers were only capable of breaching a vehicle's internal computer bus by physically connecting to a OBD-II port.

However, now, cybernetic hackers have stepped up their game and no longer need to physically connect to the victim's vehicle to gain access. Cybernetic hackers are able to breach any vehicle, remotely, easily.

Auto car breaching by vehicle hackers.
Credit: IHS Automotive

In the above diagram, you can see over 12 wireless access points via the vehicle's head unit and controller area network, which is vulnerable to becoming breached.

What is concerning security experts even more is the recent release of self-driving cars and hacking. This could potentially be even more dangerous. Protecting these new vehicles from turning into a zombie, is becoming more crucial as more cybernetic attacks are happening.

Moreover, car makers are remotely collecting data and breaching vehicles to alert drivers of maintenance or repairs that may be needed. However, experts believe that some vulnerability is present during data collection.

Nate Cardozo, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, decided to comment on car makers and their practices of remotely collecting data.

"Consumers don't know with whom that data is being shared. Take the Ford Sync, for example. In its terms of service, it says it's collecting location data and call data if you use Sync to dictate emails."
Additionally, those within the car shipping industry have witnessed just how dangerous car breaching is. One of the largest car shipping companies in the world, Montway, according to Forbes -- says it knows the lack of security that exists today with smart cars and self-driving cars.

On Friday, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that 1.4 million Fiat vehicles were being recalled for software issues that enhances vulnerability to hacking.

In deed, it's very dangerous just how easy it is to hack into a vehicle. Security experts are finally starting to drop the anchor, but until we have more bullet proof security, it won't happen for a long while. Stay safe.

(Photo via C3Group)