A vehicle may not be the safest operating system, according to a report to be published this week at the Black Hat USA Conference in Las Vegas that shows a number of vehicles on the road are susceptible to hackers via their Bluetooth, telematics or on-board phone applications.
That is not good news, especially for Nissan or Chrysler drivers, as it appears the digital systems implemented in cars are not as secure as previously believed.
Researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek are to release an update of their previous reports on the topic that will reveal those vehicles that are safest and those in danger of being hacked.
"A malicious attacker leveraging a remote vulnerability could do anything from enabling a microphone for eavesdropping to turning the steering wheel to disabling the brakes," the researchers said in a brief outlining their upcoming report. "Unfortunately, research has only been presented on three or four particular vehicles. Each manufacturer designs their fleets differently; therefore, analysis of remote threats must avoid generalities."
The report is to name the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade and the 2014 Toyota Prius as the vehicles most hacked into by a third party. It will also reveal that the Audi A8, the Honda Accord and the Dodge Viper are among the most secure vehicles on the road.
"The car's OBD-II bus is one of the weak points, but wireless technologies such as cellular, V2X and Wi-Fi constitute additional breach points, allowing hacking from a remote wireless device outside of the vehicle compromising the authentication and integrity of messages," a similar report from ABI Research says.
The report also addressed how automotive network security has changed over the last five years and how to better protect vehicles in the future. The security team also is expected to report on an "intrusion prevention device" that could stop someone from hacking into a vehicle.
In related news on cybersecurity, a new report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation has listed a number of top technology companies as the least trustworthy, raising fears that personal data and information may be compromised, Tech Times reports. The report listed Amazon.com, Snapchat and AT&T as the worst in the tech industry on handling government data requests.
The nonprofit privacy advocacy organization, in its fourth installment of "Who Has Your Back" report, ranks companies on a number of issues, including privacy and online security in their transparency reports.
But with vehicles now facing major threats, the general population is likely to become engaged in a conversation over security as the world moves toward a more interconnected one where devices, including one's vehicle, are linked to one another.