Automotive Hacking : A troublesome rising trend

Automotive Hacking: The nightmarish side of the Digital dream
Popular Culture mediums have been a reflection of not only our present society and scenarios, but also how we perceive our future. So, back in 1980s, when we saw shows like “Knight Rider” or movies like “RoboCop”, where the protagonists were aided by their trustworthy vehicles, that were not just smart and Artificial Intelligence backed, with a positioning system and locator, connected with hotline numbers that can make the cars look like a makeshift office or home space, our imaginations about the future of a human’s ride were getting wings.
Switch to present day and we see the cars and their makers bringing the same experience closer to home for their customers, with car manufacturers adding new features to their cars that integrates it with digital connectivity closer as we speak. However, just like all dreams coming true, the sceptical side of the nightmares coming to life also loom on the whole scenario.
According to a study done by “Synopsys” in the year 2019, it was found that a hefty majority of the manufacturers are concerned about the cyber security measures that back their systems in these modern-day vehicles are not up to the task of catching up with the technology offered. This opens the space for hackers and other agencies that may exploit the gaps available for their purposes, something that can be a concern right from your personal life to national and international security.
With digital technology being integrated into the automobiles at a faster pace than ever before, the vulnerable area open for exploitation also increases proportionally until and unless there is a proper system in place to detect and neutralise the threat. From the remote car key system, to the whole server setup and the various mobile apps, the hackers have found a way to demonstrate the weakness of the security systems in place by hacking into a Tesla, a Jeep and a Nissan vehicle respectively in one of many such cases.
So how do manufacturers and their software allies shield their product and customers from such nefarious intentions lingering around their life and security? The easier way to answer this question will be to say “by staying ahead of their threats”, but it will be easier being said than done. However, the manufacturers can start by these measures:

  1. Better Encryption of the security Layers: The companies may be focussing on more personal touch on the login and controlling processes to beat the hacking intrusions, by employing a mix of biometrics and the normal password and OTP system.
  2. Dedicated Teams on the job: The increasing hacking activities may push the companies towards setting up of dedicated network of IT professionals and security experts to detect and foil these attempts at the earliest.
  3. Staying ahead of the curve: The professionals in charge of designing the security layers must be up to date with the technology and explore the prospected vulnerable areas that rise with deeper penetration of technology and connectivity in automotive