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News

Information Security and Autonomous Vehicles

McAfee : 10 May, 2012  (Technical Article)
With the driverless car having been licensed in Nevada, McAfee looks at the implications for information security
Information Security and Autonomous Vehicles
Following the news that Nevada has officially issued licenses to Google for driverless cars, Raj Samani, CTO at McAfee EMEA has commented on the increased security risks posed by advancements in automotive technology.

Raj said, “Imagine taking a taxi, where there is no driver—just a computer at the wheel. The latest news from Google suggests that this could be reality sooner than we think. Frost and Sullivan estimates that cars will require 200 million to 300 million lines of software code in the near future. But as cars become increasingly connected, it exposes the automotive industry to the same threats as any other consumer device.

Cutting edge advancements in technology could result in some impressive innovations, like driverless cars. But the industry must ensure that it is thinking about the security implications. For example, the first remote keyless entry systems did not implement any security and were easily compromised. As more and more digital technology is introduced into automobiles, the threat of malicious software and hardware manipulation increases.

Wireless devices like web-based vehicle-immobilisation systems that can remotely disable a car could potentially be used maliciously to disable cars belonging to unsuspecting owners. And you won’t know what hit you until the malware strikes. There was a recent situation in Texas where it was reported that 100 vehicles were disabled from a remote disable system. The system had been installed by the car dealership, but was maliciously manipulated by a disgruntled former employee who remotely disabled the cars and wreaked havoc by setting off the car horns.”
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