Automotive hacking

The Rise of Automotive Hacking

In an era where vehicles are becoming increasingly connected and reliant on sophisticated technology, the rise of automotive hacking poses a significant challenge. As cars evolve into complex computing devices on wheels, the vulnerabilities associated with their interconnected systems have garnered attention. From smart features enhancing convenience and safety to autonomous driving capabilities, automobiles have transformed into technology hubs, making them attractive targets for cyber threats.

The infusion of digital innovation in the automotive industry has led to remarkable advancements. Modern cars boast a plethora of cutting-edge features, including infotainment systems, GPS navigation, wireless connectivity, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), designed to enhance the driving experience. However, this surge in technological integration has inadvertently opened doors to potential security risks, sparking concerns about the susceptibility of vehicles to cyber attacks.

Justin Cappos, a computer science researcher at New York University,  told The New York Times, the potential threats are even worse than anything we’ve seen yet: “If there was a war or escalation with a country with strong cyber-capability, I would be very afraid of hacking of vehicles,” Cappos says. “Once in, hackers can send messages to the brakes and shut off the power steering and lock people in the car and do other things that you wouldn’t want to happen.”

Cybersecurity experts have demonstrated various scenarios highlighting the vulnerabilities within these interconnected systems. The ability to remotely access a car’s internal network, manipulate crucial functions, or compromise safety features has raised alarms within the automotive industry. From exploiting software weaknesses to gaining unauthorized access through wireless connections or compromised USB ports, hackers have showcased the potential to take control of critical vehicle functions, compromising not just data but also the safety of passengers and pedestrians.

As the automotive sector progresses towards autonomous driving and the Internet of Things (IoT) integration, the risk landscape expands. The introduction of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, where cars exchange data to improve safety and traffic efficiency, opens a new frontier for potential vulnerabilities. Ensuring the security and privacy of these communications is critical to prevent unauthorized access and manipulation by malicious actors.

Manufacturers, recognizing the gravity of this issue, are proactively addressing these challenges. They are implementing robust security measures, conducting extensive testing, and collaborating with cybersecurity experts to fortify their vehicles against potential breaches. These efforts encompass not only safeguarding the internal systems of vehicles but also the communication protocols and external connectivity that modern cars rely on.

Government bodies and regulatory authorities are also stepping in to establish standards and guidelines to ensure the cybersecurity resilience of vehicles. Regulations and standards such as the UNECE WP.29 regulations and ISO/SAE 21434 standards are being formulated to enforce security protocols, design guidelines, and incident response plans in the automotive sector.

Moreover, the emergence of bug bounty programs, where ethical hackers are incentivized to find and report vulnerabilities, has become a popular practice within the automotive industry. This approach allows for continuous testing and improvement of security measures, encouraging a collaborative effort between security researchers and automotive manufacturers to fortify the resilience of vehicles against cyber threats.

In addition, there are ways for motorists to improve their vehicle security. Firstly, ensure there are secure passwords for any related app. Second, cover the vehicle identification number. Security researcher Sam Curry recently demonstrated an exploit where he was able to unlock and start cars simply by knowing their VINs. These are usually placed  just beneath the windshield on the front left corner of the dashboard. Putting a piece of black tape over it will do. Third, use a simple, signal-blocking Faraday bag to protect your key fob when it’s not in use. This will help prevent anyone from accessing it remotely. Finally, don’t leave anything connected to the OBD-II port. This includes driving monitors available from some insurance companies, which, if hacked, could allow attackers direct access to the car’s most crucial systems.

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, the future of automotive cybersecurity will depend on a proactive, multilayered approach. It requires a blend of technological advancements, stringent regulations, ongoing security assessments, and collaborative efforts between stakeholders to fortify vehicles against evolving threats.

The rise of automotive hacking presents a compelling challenge in an era dominated by technological innovation. While the vulnerabilities are evident, the industry’s response in fortifying these systems against potential threats is equally promising. As we continue down the path of technological advancement, the focus on robust cybersecurity measures will be paramount in ensuring the safety, privacy, and reliability of our vehicles on the roads of tomorrow.

Monitoring Remote Sessions

With more employees working from home, companies are seeking ways of monitoring remote sessions. One compelling case can be made for recording remote sessions for later playback and review. Employers are concerned that in the event of a security breach, they won’t be able to see what was happening on users’ desktops when the breach occurred. Another reason for recording remote sessions is to maintain compliance, as required for medical and financial institutions or auditing for business protocols, etc.

TSFactory’s RecordTS v7 will record Windows remote sessions reliably and securely for RDS, Citrix and VMware systems. Scalable from small offices with one server to enterprise networks with tens of thousands of desktops and servers, RecordTS integrates seamlessly with the native environment.

Click here to learn more about secure remote session recording.