Next target of hackers-Cars?

Struggling over to the computer network, hackers proved that if given time, they will be able to pop the trunk and start the windshield wipers, cut the brakes or lock them up and even kill the engine.

Smart Car

Although, nothing is worry about as these hackers worked on behalf of US military, which along with the auto industry is scrambling to fortify the cyber defenses of commercially available cars before criminals and even terrorists penetrate them.

You’re stepping into a rolling computer now,”- Chris Valasek, who helped catapult car hacking into the public eye when he and his partner revealed that they had been able to control a 2010 Toyota Prius and 2010 Ford Escape last year, by plugging into ports used by mechanics.

In empty time these days, while he’s not working in his job in the security firm, Valasek is working on how he can deploy Bluetooth for the penetration.

Automaker are pretty sure about their ideas of consumers; who would want their cars not just to have music playlists of today or maps, but also streaming live movies from internet and the turn dictation into emails. The federal government wants cars having the functionality of sending warning messages electronically to each other in case there is danger on the road.

Well, these advancements are more than enough for hackers where they can invest their talent!

Hackers demonstrated that they could create the electronic equivalent of a skeleton key to unlock into a car’s network. “That may take months,” Fisher said, but from there it would be “pretty easy to package up the smarts and make it available online, perhaps in a black-market type situation.”

Hacked Car. Image Courtesy:Google.

The project’s goal is not just to fill the holes of vulnerability, but to reconstruct those line of critical computer codes in the way that it makes them extremely protected from the major known threats. This way, there would be very less chances of vulnerabilities. The model code will be distributed to automakers, so that they could adapt them in their product. Might take a few more years.

One major association representing brands including Honda and Toyota is helping establish an “information and analysis center” patterned after efforts by big banks to trial of preventing cyber-attacks.

Before, when you designed something, you looked at how might components fail,” said Michael Cammisa, director of safety for the Association of Global Automakers. “Now, you have to look at how would somebody maliciously attack the vehicle.

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Varun is a Computer Science Engineering student. He enjoys coding, music and is a dedicated counter-terrorist.

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