14 December, 2019

Is your car vulnerable?

With the latest vehicles boasting features including Wi-Fi, self-driving modes and in-car entertainment apps, the risk of falling victim to cyber hackers is an increasing concern.  

By next year there's expected to be a quarter of a billion connected cars worldwide, many of which could be susceptible to security and safety threats if owners don't take precautions to protect themselves.

Here are the steps to keep in mind if you own a connected car and want to keep criminals at bay.  

Connected vehicles are vulnerable to being hacked by cyber criminals looking to disrupt and endanger as many other electronic devices as possible, warns car leasing firm Hippo Leasing.

There's also the rise of keyless 'relay' vehicle thefts, with connected cars provided another avenue for organised criminals to steal motors without ever needing to get access to their keys.

But a driver's - and theirs passengers - safety and personal information could also quite easily be compromised by skilled hackers, according to a poll of cyber security experts.

Some 84 per cent quizzed earlier this year said that automotive manufacturers aren't keeping pace with hacking threats - and there's been plenty of evidence of this.

The most famous of all came in 2015 in the US when an experiment showed how easy it was to take control of a connected vehicle using a laptop.

Hackers crashed a Jeep Cherokee into a ditch by remotely breaking into its systems from 10 miles away whilst sitting on their sofa. 

In the first such breach of its kind, the security experts cut out the engine and applied the brakes on the SUV - sending it into a spin.

The US hackers said they used just a computer and mobile phone to access the Jeep’s on-board systems via its wireless Internet connection.  

More recently, a team of security researchers successfully hacked a Tesla Model 3 to show a message on its entertainment system. 

The team infiltrated the electric car's infotainment settings as part of the annual Pwn2Own computer hacking contest, winning the £40,000 vehicle as a prize and a hefty reward of $35,000 from Tesla - which quickly released a software update to address the vulnerability the team uncovered.

While no life-threatening cyber attacks on vehicles have yet to be reported, insiders believe there is potential just around the corner.

And with more and more personal data and financial transactions being stored in vehicles, cars are becoming valuable targets from thieves. 

'Just like with keyless car thefts, criminals’ techniques will become increasingly more sophisticated and soon attacks could become commonplace,' explained Tom Preston, managing director at Hippo Leasing. 

'In fact, some of the UK’s newest and most popular cars with keyless entry can now be broken into in 10 seconds, highlighting just how criminal techniques are evolving in the face of new technologies.' 

Read more on the This Is Money Website

Source : This Is Money

Link : https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-7785997/Five-steps-motorists-connected-cars-safe.html