Although modernization and technological advancements make everything convenient, their implementation also opens up new loopholes for exploits. Such is the case with the current smart automobiles. Since last year, reports of hackers gaining remote access to the latest car models from manufacturers such as Land Rover, Jeep, Toyota, Chrysler, BMW, Ford and General Motors have flooded the Internet.

The cyberattacks are directed towards 2013 and later vehicle models. What is worrying is that these automobiles with exploitable security will fill the streets in the next five years.

"About one in five vehicles on the road worldwide will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020, amounting to more than 250 million connected vehicles," reported Gartner, an information technology research and advisory firm.

In lieu of the issue, Intel has announced the formation of Automotive Security Review Board (ASRB), which aims to lessen and address automobile cybersecurity risks. Intel details that the board will be composed of top talents with specific expertise on cyber-physical security. Moreover, ASRB's research arm is tasked to perform continuous security tests and inspections, which will serve as basis for the best practices and design recommendations for vehicle cybersecurity solutions and products that will benefit both the industry and driver.

In the same press release, Intel also announced that it has already published the first white paper version of "Automotive Security Best Practices: Recommendations for Security and Privacy in the Era of the Next-Generation Car", a study that breaks down the risks involved with connected vehicles and makes the appropriate recommendations to address the security problem. The proceeding published versions of the study will be based upon the findings of the board.

"We can, and must, raise the bar against cyberattacks in automobiles," insists Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager for Security, Chris Young. "With the help of the ASRB, Intel can establish security best practices and encourage that cybersecurity is an essential ingredient in the design of every connected car. Few things are more personal than our safety while on the road, making the ASRB the right idea at the right time."

The semiconductor chip maker pledges to assist the ASRB by providing it with automotive advanced development platforms, which will facilitate the research. Intel will also provide incentives by awarding a new car to the researcher that makes the most significant contribution in advancing automobile cybersecurity. Further details for the development platform and the key security areas, which the board will focus on, is set to be disclosed next month at the inaugural ASRB meet-up.

Photo: Land Rover | Flickr

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