In recent years, the rise of connected vehicles has brought about numerous benefits for drivers. From enhanced infotainment systems to advanced safety features, the modern automotive and mobility industry is coming up with more advanced and connected vehicles than ever before. However, this increased connectivity also brings new security challenges that threaten the safety and privacy of drivers.
This blog delves into the top five automotive cybersecurity threats that drivers need to be aware of. From hacking and theft to malware and data breaches, these are the risks that every vehicle owner should keep in mind as they hit the road.
Whether you're a seasoned driver or a newcomer to the world of connected vehicles, this blog will give you an insight into the most pressing automotive cybersecurity threats and what you can do to protect yourself.
Analysis of Prominent Automotive Cybersecurity Threats
The automotive sector is implementing cybersecurity best practices created by businesses creating their own cybersecurity solutions or cooperating with other automotive cybersecurity solution provider businesses to address these issues.
With the increasing use of electronics per vehicle, the growing number of connected vehicles, rising cyber threats owing to the increase in data and connectivity of vehicles, and rising sales of electric vehicles, the automotive cybersecurity market is expected to grow significantly.
According to the BIS Research analysis, the automotive cybersecurity market was valued at $2.76 billion in 2022, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.97% and reach $17.73 billion by 2031.
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A few of the prominent automotive cybersecurity threats are discussed below:
1. Brute Force Attack: In the American automotive industry, brute force attacks are the most frequent kind of assault. In this attack, hackers target a computer network and get access to a sizable database of users and passwords. The criminals then try to use credential-stuffing combinations to get access to a vehicle's computer network. Brute force assaults, which are contrary to phishing that involves fooling users into divulging personal information, require hackers physically break into a system to acquire access. The American motor industry is most frequently attacked with raw force.
These attacks try to leverage password stuffing or exploit well-known system faults to obtain access. Modern central processing units (CPUs), machine learning, and graphics cards that can run attacks at lightning speeds are increasing the complexity of brute force attacks. These kinds of breaches give thieves access to a variety of car systems.
2. Phishing Attacks: All digital systems are constantly at risk from phishing attempts. Phishing uses social engineering, as opposed to brute-force hacking, to persuade people to click on emails, links, and other messages that could be used to access login information or start malware. Hackers might be able to access an endless number of systems in the auto industry if their phishing attempts are successful. The ideal phishing assault may corrupt even the control computer for driverless vehicles. Given the nature of phishing attempts, the only way to prevent them is to properly educate people on how to spot them and discourage them from readily revealing personal information.
For instance, the report, "Automotive Cybersecurity Market - A Global and Regional Analysis Targeting the Indian Electric Vehicle Industry," published by BIS Research Inc., demonstrates how hackers utilize Google advertising to trick people into visiting phishing websites to steal money.
3. Ransomware Attacks: Automotive OEMs still face serious dangers from ransomware assaults on their IT systems, even if the operational technology side of automobiles is drawing attention to potential security flaws. Such attacks have the potential to interfere with business operations and, in some situations, increase the price of delays in the production of vehicles. Hackers are increasingly using ransomware to increase their income. Ransomware locks down systems until a ransom is paid, unlike other attacks that try to retrieve data and sell it on the dark web.
The loss of service is one of the ransomware's most severe effects. Threat actors who use ransomware are quickly embracing more advanced techniques to put the whole industrial sector, particularly the auto industry, in peril. If automakers want to overcome sales obstacles, cybersecurity should be a top priority. Honda, a Japanese manufacturer, experienced a ransomware attack in 2020 that momentarily suspended its global operations, including production, sales, and development.
4. Telematics Cybersecurity: Telematics systems are often not the objective when it comes to breaking into modern cars. They do, however, represent a single point of failure for getting access to a whole fleet, making them a particularly weak point for remote assault in modern cars. Data collection or tampering with, altering, and even seriously harming vehicle functionality are the main goals of attackers who target telematics equipment.
To make sure that telematics devices for the federal fleet adhere to industry standards for cybersecurity, agencies can refer to the NIST 800 series, the "Telematics Cybersecurity Primer for Federal Agencies," Geotab's System Security Plan, and the expertise of other organizations like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Navy. These standards enable best practices for procurement and can also be used to detect mistakes that evade detection.
5. Keyless Car Theft: Previously primarily available to owners of high-end automobiles, wireless key fobs that enable keyless entry are now offered in a variety of vehicle types and price ranges. Keyless entry security continues to be threatened by man-in-the-middle attacks, which eavesdrop on wireless communication flows between the key fob and the car. Criminals can use specialized technology that can pick up signals from wireless keys to intercept and redistribute communications sent between key fobs and autos.
By tricking the two components (the key fob and the vehicle) into thinking they are close to one another, these relayed messages evade authentication. Once the car's door is opened, the thieves can leave with their getaway vehicle. Four days after a Detroit woman paid $90,000 for a Dodge Charger, robbers used a relay assault to break into the vehicle in October 2021 and drive off with it.
As the automotive industry continues to embrace the latest technologies, it is important for drivers to stay informed about the latest automotive cybersecurity threats and to take appropriate measures to protect themselves and their vehicles. From hacking and theft to malware and data breaches, these are the top five automotive cybersecurity threats that drivers need to be aware of and guard against. By being informed and taking proactive steps to secure their vehicles, drivers can help to ensure the safety and privacy of their cars and their personal information.
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