Tuesday, 30 July 2013

When Hacking can Kill

Luddites say we over egg the seriousness of poor security practises and security breaches, as nobody actually dies, well that's not always the case, sometimes lives are put at stake when information security is poorly managed.

A couple of security engineers at Twitter and IOActive said they were able to hack and take control of a Toyota Prius. The engineers described how they could control every aspect of the car, including the steering and were even able to disengage the brakes, so breaking wouldn't work in the car. They even went onto say they could remove their hacking device, eliminating all evidence of their control over the car.

This hacking example highlights the concerns with the security of our increasingly smart and connected cars. Cars are rapidly having more sophisticated and complex computer systems, and more external connectivity, which is the age old recipe for security vulnerabilities. Security testing of car computer systems needs to run hand-in-hand with the rest of the European comprehensive car safety checks, which all car manufacturers must adhere to, yet currently there is nothing in place to force the security testing of car computer systems. 

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