by Simon Hartley Co-founder, RunSafe Security and FASTR member and Joe Saunders CEO and co-founder, RunSafe Security and FASTR member
This article published in Infosecurity Magazine last week.
Today’s connected car is not so much a smartphone on wheels; with so many microprocessors chatting with one another across and beyond the vehicle, it is now more aptly described as a data center on wheels.
A tremendous influx of software content, connectivity, entertainment services and autonomy functionality is transforming vehicles. We are rapidly approaching a point in which the automobile will be built around the software, as opposed to the other way around.
Tesla recently made the first deliveries of its mass market “Model 3” electric vehicle. Controls are focused around a large touch screen and the shifter adds “Autopilot” to the traditional “Park”, “Reverse”, “Neutral” and “Drive” options. Full self-driving capability is promised for a later date with simply an Over-the-Air (OTA) software update.
This generalized shift to software, in turn, means the opportunity for a cyber-attack is growing rapidly. Even with the larger potential attack surface, and while cybersecurity threats will never be eliminated altogether, it is also true that substantial work is taking place to engineer tomorrow’s vehicles to be systematically more able to deal with those threats in a safe and predictable manner.