Tag: automobiles

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McKinsey: Consumers Want Connected Cars – And Fear Them, Too

The consulting firm McKinsey & Co. has released an interesting report on the future of connected vehicles. But it has some sobering data for car makers: concerns about privacy and the possibility that connected cars could be hacked are major concerns for consumers that could dampen enthusiasm for smart vehicles. The report, “What’s Driving the Connected Car?” finds that connectivity features will be a major driver of car sales in the coming years, with car buyers increasingly accustomed to vehicles that sport sophisticated interactive and networking features. That said: security concerns may hamper the “rapid and broad adoption” of connected vehicle technology. For its report, McKinsey interviewed 2,000 new car buyers in four countries: Brazil, China, Germany and the U.S. The survey found that a quarter of respondents considered connectivity a more important feature than engine power or even fuel efficiency. The firm estimates that connectivity features will become increasingly important selling features […]

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Building an Unhackable Autonomous Vehicle – CityLab

The folks over at The Atlantic have an intriguing take on the subject of “connected vehicles” and autonomous driving. Now this is a vision that we’ve been chasing for more than 50 years (consider all the technicolor “highway of tomorrow” films from the 50s and 60s). And we’re on the cusp of realizing it. Google’s self-driving car is racking up the miles and automated features like hands free cruise control and collision avoidance are making their way into production vehicles. As Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic’s (cool) CityLab writes, however, there’s one major fly in the ointment when you consider the super efficient, algorithmically driven road of the future: humans. Specifically: Madrigal, in the course of writing an article on how to build an ‘unhackable’ car poses a scenario that I think is very likely: humans who subvert or otherwise game vehicle automation features to suit their own needs. Imagining the orderly procession […]

Security Experts call for Action on Connected Auto Safety

A non-profit group that represents prominent computer security researchers has issued an open letter to the automotive industry calling for more collaboration on cyber security issues. The group, I Am The Cavalry said the automotive industry needs to elevate cyber security to put it on par with other vehicle safety issues. The announcement, on Friday at DEF CON 22 in Las Vegas – an annual hacker conference – included a letter to CEOs in the automotive industry, calling for the adoption of “five key capabilities that create a baseline for safety relating to the computer systems in cars.” The letter asks for safety to be built into the design of computer systems in vehicles. “Increasing reliance on computer systems and internet connectivity in cars is opening up a whole new area of consumer risk, much of which is still being investigated and understood,” the group said. “Modern cars are computers […]

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Car Makers, Suppliers Going Their Own Way On Security

I was surprised to see a big feature story over at CNN.com this morning – given that the security of connected vehicles has no obvious link to LA Clippers owner Don Sterling, the on-going shakeup at the Veterans Administration or a tornado or other natural disaster. Still – there it is: “Your car is a giant computer – and it can be hacked.” The feature, by Jose Pagliery is solid enough – though it doesn’t break much new ground. He mentions the research by Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller at The Black Hat Briefings last year. He also talks to the folks over at Security Innovation. [Want more on security and connected vehicles? Check out our video: Insecure At Any Speed: Are Automakers Failing The Software Crash Test? ] The big take-away: automobiles are rife with old and outdated software and hardware, much of it lacking even basic security features  like secure communications […]

Web to Wheels: Tesla Password Insecurity Exposes Cars, Drivers

We’ve interviewed security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani before. In the last year, he’s done some eye-opening investigations into consumer products like the Philips HUE smart lightbulbs. We did a podcast with Nitesh in December where we talked more generally about security and the Internet of Things. Now Dhanjani is in the news again with research on one of the most high-profile connected devices in the world: Tesla’s super-smart electric cars. In a presentation at Black Hat Asia on Friday, he  released findings of some research on the Tesla Model S that suggests the cars have a weakness common to many Web based applications: a weak authentication scheme. (A PDF version of the report is here.) Specifically: Tesla’s sophisticated cars rely on a decidedly unsophisticated security scheme: a six-character PIN. Dhanjani’s research discovered a variety of potentially exploitable holes that would give even an unsophisticated attacker a good chance at breaking into […]