Car Hacking - Red Zone Area

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Car Hacking

Regarding Security
With the amount of smart technology that automobiles come equipped with  these days, the idea of car hacking is not science fiction anymore. Car  buyers worry in increasing numbers about the safety of passengers and  wonder what they can do to safeguard themselves.
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Car Hacking
How To Protect Yourself
Red Zone Area January 2021

Hackers Take Control of a Car
In  2015, two cybersecurity researchers exposed the real threat hackers  pose to vehicles connected to the world through the Internet. Charlie  Miller and Chris Valasek hacked into a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, and from a  mile away, Valasek "turned the steering wheel, briefly disabled the  brakes and shut down the engine."
The  hack prompted Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.4 million vehicles, including  its Jeep Cherokee, to install patches to the UConnect dashboards and  entertainment operating systems (OS). Miller and Valasek had used  vulnerabilities in the OS as the entry point to cripple critical  functions on the Cherokee. This particular OS is common to Dodge, Jeep  and Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

Car Entertainment Systems Are Most Vulnerable to Hacking
The cars rolling off assembly lines now have an average of 25 to 50 interconnected computersintertwined  throughout them. The systems manage everything from music and  temperature to steering and brakes. The wireless UConnect OS referenced  above was particularly vulnerable through its entertainment  functionality.
In a vehicle,  the entertainment system must connect to the outside world to receive  satellite radio signals, stream content and convey mobile phone  conversations. The channel is like an open sluiceway to the central  nervous system of the car, called the controller area network, or CAN  bus. The CAN enables the various components of the car to talk to each  other. The greater complexity of cars rolling off assembly lines,  particularly in regard to installed entertainment systems, makes them  much more vulnerable than models built before 2010.

Car Makers Work to Remedy the Issue
Gartner,  a technology market research company, predicts that approximately 250  million vehicles will directly connect to the Internet by 2020. With  numbers like that on the horizon, auto makers are aware of the huge  liabilities they face should any of their vehicles succumb to a hack  that causes passenger injuries or property damage.
In  2015, auto industry companies created the Automotive Information  Sharing and Analysis Center to exchange information about cybersecurity  threats and ways to protect against them. In October 2016, the National  Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a cybersecurity "best  practices" guide for automakers. The report included advice for building more secure vehicles.

Real-World Threats and How to Protect Yourself
The  likelihood of a hacker taking control of your car while you're driving  is slim, but the threat of theft is real. Since 2015, hackers have successfully used laptop computers to hack the ignitions  of late model Fiat Chrysler cars. For this reason, it may be wise to  continue using the old-school approach of attaching an anti-theft device  to the steering wheel.
You  should also remain aware of software security patches provided by your  automaker. Typically, vendors offer links on their websites to download  the software onto personal USB flash drives. You would simply plug the  flash drive into the USB port in your car to transfer the fix or update  to your vehicle.
Avoid  installing software on your automobile that is not manufacturer  approved. This includes diagnostics software to monitor your car's  performance or different types of entertainment software that require  Internet connectivity. Third-party wares could be rife with  vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit to steal or control your car.
Along  with providing greater convenience and comfort, the integration of the  Internet into cars presents owners with new challenges that are as  critical as the hacking of personal devices. Just as you develop a  routine for keeping the antivirus software up to date on your computer,  you must stay abreast of the security updates for your modern vehicles.


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