Security Market Segment LS


JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 3653
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 16:23

Car hacking the torque of the town Featured

Queensland University of Technology's Professor Andry Rakotonirainy Queensland University of Technology's Professor Andry Rakotonirainy

Cars have "virtually non-existent" levels of security and are at extreme levels of risk of being hacked, according to a Queensland professor.

Coat hangers and shims are the burglary tools of the past, with today's cars now susceptible to unprecedented online security risks according to researchers.

Queensland University of Technology's Professor Andry Rakotonirainy, who heads the university's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS), has researched the security systems of existing fleet, future autonomous and connected cars and found there was little protection against hacking.

"The security protection on cars is virtually non-existent, it is at a level of protection that a desktop computer system had in the 1980s, the basic security requirements such as authentication, confidentiality and integrity are not strong," he said.

"What this means is that as vehicles become more and more connected and autonomous, with the ability to communicate to other vehicles and infrastructure through wireless networks, the threat of cyber attack increases putting people's safety and security at risk."

Professor Rakotonirainy said while most vehicles built within the last decade had features allowing them to connect to the internet and communicate with devices within the vehicle, the development of intelligent transport systems meant future cars would be connected to wireless networks as standard and would offer a higher level of automation.

He said all new cars were equipped with technology, called CAN-BUS, located under the steering wheel and described as a point that provides access to the "brain of a car", allowing anyone to check the health of a vehicle and to control it.

"This CAN-BUS allows all microcontrollers within a car to communicate to each other and is accessible via a mere plug," he said.

"It can be used to control almost everything such as the airbags, brakes, cruise control and power steering systems. CAN-BUS can be accessed locally or remotely with simple devices.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg as future cars will feature a tremendous mix of wireless networks and offer numerous opportunities to improve safety, entertainment and comfort.

"For example, cars will be wirelessly connected to other cars. If a vehicle stops ahead, a warning can be issued to drivers behind to slow down, or vehicles can automatically take control and slowdown without the driver's intervention.

"It will also be possible for vehicles to connect with infrastructure. For example, if a light turned red, but an approaching vehicle failed to slow, perhaps because the driver was distracted, a warning could be issued or action taken to automatically control the vehicle."

Professor Rakotonirainy said while these features had the potential to improve road safety, if hacked people's lives could be put at risk.

"If someone hacks into a vehicle's electronics via a wireless network and exploits the current security loophole, they can track or take control of it," he said.

"We need to be analysing the types of risk that that these intelligent vehicles are facing and work to provide a secure, reliable and trusted protection system.

"A vehicle's communication security over wireless networks cannot be an afterthought and needs to be comprehensively considered at the early stages of design and deployment of these high-tech systems from the hardware, software, user and policy point of view."

RACQ spokesman Russell Manning told the ABC however that while the combination of high-tech cars and poor security could make it easier to steal them, at this point Australians have little to worry about.

"Given that a lot of cars now have a self-parking system, the computer could override the steering and make it turn in a way you didn't want it to turn and that sort of thing," he said.

"At this point the cars we have here in Australia are not very susceptible to this sort of thing."

In related news Apple's CarPlay, described as the "best iPhone experience on four wheels", is facing heavy delays.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here


The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.



Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News