Analecta Cyber Company Blog: Car Hacking Gets the Attention of Senators

2015-10-20

Car Hacking Gets the Attention of Senators

With the ongoing quick evolution of technology it is not unusual to hear about new things being hacked. In just the past couple of years, a pair of researchers discovered a way to remotely compromise the internal system of a car. They were able to stop the car’s transmission and control the steering as well as its braking system. This “hacking” was part of the research conducted by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who  have been working for several years on car security projects. As part of their accomplishments, they discovered vulnerabilities and attack methods in other vehicles. Their work was part of a project sponsored by DARPA (part of the Cyber Fast Track program).


Researchers display hack threat

At an event called the Black Hat, they revealed details of a vulnerability they discovered in some Chrysler models that enabled them to alter the car’s security system. They were then able to overwrite the firmware, allowing them to send commands that modified the car’s operation. As part of their research, they also found a way to track affected vehicles via their IP addresses.

The researchers have already reached out to the company and helped release a patch that fixes the vulnerability. In a statement, the company said that the software security update will be provided to car owners at no cost and will include improvements designed to enhance convenience and enjoyment of the vehicle.

Two senators from the Detroit and Washington areas introduced a bill to establish some minimum security and privacy standards for vehicles. The legislation will set minimum standards and transparency rules to protect the data, security and privacy of drivers with their own vehicle.