Connected Cars are vulnerable to Ransomware Attacks


A recent research conducted by Future of Automotive Security Technology Research (FASTR) has concluded that connected cars could be the next targets for ransomware hackers/developers.

FASTR which technically acts as a consortium of automotive manufacturers, software makers for automotive industry and suppliers, discovered in its research that as soon as a connected car connects to the internet, the entire vehicle gets exposed to threat surface.

And as automobile makers are putting a lot of interest in making computerized cars which work on processor intelligence, the threat level increases to several folds, as these cars operate on 100 million lines of computer codes to operate which can be easily hacked.

Craig Hurst, the Executive Director for FASTR said that car makers are showing a lot of enthusiasm in presenting to their customers the best innovation driven by processors. But in this process, they are neglecting the basics related to security which is now found as default in other modern devices such as phones and laptops.

For this reason, Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning last year for the auto industry. The warning was actually an advice from the law enforcement to produce cars with enough cyber security features in order to isolate themselves from cyber attacks in the cyberspace.

Otherwise, hackers can install malware into a vehicle’s operating system, through an unprotected internet connection and create havoc.

Jake Fisher, Director of Automotive Testing at Consumer Reports said that manufacturers should take the responsibility of considering all possibilities while adding new innovation to their vehicles. If they ignore these basics, then it can turn into an exploitable vulnerability to hackers in connected cars.

Imagine a hacker launches a cyber attack on a car through a previously planted malware and nullifies its operating functions on the middle of a busy road or highway…? What if they hijack the connected car of a politician or celebrity and demand a ransom to track and tow it down to safety?

A terrible nightmare isn’t it…?

But if automotive manufacturers show a blind eye towards cyber security in connected cars, then something, as predicted above, could certainly happen.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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