Car Cybersecurity Has Become Its Own Business

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways June 10, 2016 19:06

Car Cybersecurity Has Become Its Own Business


As vehicles get “smarter,” carmakers are making cybersecurity a much bigger priority.

It’s safe to say that seeing two high-profile security hackers expose a major automobile security loophole that allowed them to hack into a moving Jeep Cherokee last year was a major wake-up call to the industry.

Most of the latest cars on the road today have dozens of computers with up to 100 million lines of code, CIO reported on Thursday (June 9), which leaves potential for there to be as many as 15 bugs for every 1,000 lines of code. That is a big opportunity for hackers.

Researchers predict that, as cars become more automated and connected, they will open the door to an enormous vehicle anti-malware and secure hardware market.

“Every new vehicle today … has at least some degree of automation capability,” Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst with Navigant Research, told CIO. “Essentially, every vehicle on the road is going to need some aspect of cybersecurity built into it.”

Between turning cars into Wi-Fi-connected hotspots and integrating computers powerful enough to drive vehicles on their own, Motor City executives are starting to realize that they’ve overlooked a key area in the rise of the high-tech car: security.

GM is amping up its cybersecurity unit to ready itself against rising possibilities of threats to its automobile firewall. The company has called for hackers to help it uncover loopholes in its cybersecurity net for vehicles, websites and software, under a “coordinated disclosure” program.

GM’s collaboration with researchers can be called a bug bounty program of sorts, except that the Detroit-based company is not offering any monitory reward for uncovering a security loophole.

According to data from Gartner, within the next five years, the majority of new vehicles will be connected to the internet. It’s also expected that, by 2035, there will be 21 million autonomous vehicles on roadways, research from IHS Automotive states.

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways June 10, 2016 19:06