In the US, Ford announced that it will produce a fleet of driverless cars for the mass market – to be used by ride-sharing services, such as Uber – by 2021. Brian Spector, CEO at MIRACL commented below.

Brian Spector, CEO at MIRACL:

brian-spectoreic“While Ford is moving driverless car technology into the fast lane, it’s still unclear whether security concerns are being addressed by car manufacturers at the outset, or if they’ll just be pushed to one side and addressed later.

“Cars are no longer just a means of travelling from A to B, but powerful computing platforms which are an increasingly attractive target for hackers.  One of the central problems is with authentication, in terms of verifying who is using the various connected devices within today’s cars. As the infamous Jeep hacks demonstrate, this allows hackers to assume control of someone else’s car while it is in motion, with potentially disastrous consequences.

“Having very limited encryption, identity management and data protection within connected cars is extremely dangerous and poses a real and serious threat to everyone using our roads today.  As fleets of driverless cars become increasingly common, our roads could soon become giant playgrounds for hackers.  To provide an effective defence, the identities of those using the connected devices in a car need to be established up-front, using distributed trust models which allow for fast and effective pre-authorisation.  Both manufacturers and users will need to get up to speed extremely quickly in order to take control for cyber security within driverless cars.”

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