IoT Security and Protecting Connected Cars

Ever imagined on owning a car that can drive by itself; that not just determines the fastest route for you through its navigation system, but also finds the most fuel efficient one; that automatically registers for its servicing and renews its insurance; that is smart enough to prevent accidents by assessing driver’s vital functions and alerting the travelers of the potential problems; that drives on its own through traffic jams and highways. Yes, it is no more just a dream car. This disruption is already in progress through the integration of Internet of Things.

We call these cars as ‘Connected Cars’. A connected car is a car that is equipped with Internet access (wireless and LAN) that can be shared with other devices both inside as well as outside the vehicle. These cars are often outfitted with special technologies that tap into the internet or wireless LAN and provide additional benefits to the driver. Examples include, automatic notification of crashes, notification of speeding and safety alerts.

Unfortunately, all these sub-systems are not protected from any kind of hacking. Hence, it is a piece of cake for any hacker who has the ingenuity and talent to hack into these cars and dilute the system. For example, a hacker can apply brakes through wireless technologies when the car is moving, without the knowledge of the driver. It is not very hard to imagine the tremendous damage this act will cause when a car is in motion and suddenly stops without the knowledge of the driver knowing.



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