Security for the Next Generation: SAE Cyber Auto Challenge

For the last seven years, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and Battelle corporation have hosted a worldwide event called the Cyber Auto Challenge aimed at introducing the next generation of engineers and software developers to the landscape of connected cars and their cyber-security needs. The Cyber Auto Challenge, in tandem with the Cyber Truck Challenge also hosted by SAE, gathers talented high school and university-class students from around the world for a week of intense training by automotive industry veterans and cyber-security experts in the techniques used to find and fix cyber vulnerabilities in connected vehicles.

The techniques taught and practiced at the Cyber Auto Challenge are none other than those used in the real world of automotive cyber-security and penetration testing, with the instructors being subject-matter experts in hardware, software, and automotive penetration testing. Mohammad Kamel Ghali, a field-applications engineer and penetration tester at Trillium gave the following reflection on the week-long event.

“During the week of the Cyber Auto Challenge, I had the pleasure of working alongside long-time colleagues and budding automotive cyber-security zealots alike. Getting to share experiences and exchange tips and tricks with fellow researchers and penetration testers from firms such as Grimm, Intrepid Control Systems and Battelle was a great opportunity. Each participant in the challenge brought forth their unique perspective on the challenges faced by the connected car security industry, making this week of collaborating with experts in the field an enlightening experience for everyone. I hope that together with Trillium I can continue to participate in and support the SAE and Cyber Auto Challenge for years to come, helping to ensure the continued cyber-security of the transportation of the future.”

As the prospect of automotive cyber-security shifts from an afterthought into a high priority for carmakers and legislators alike, the importance of standards-defining bodies such as the SAE cannot be understated. It is through cooperation with such entities that Trillium hopes to inspire an era of connected-car security to facilitate the next generation of cooperative connected transportation.