An open letter to the automotive industry has been presented at Def Con 22 over the weekend. The letter outlines the need for stronger collaboration between the automotive industry and the IT security industry to ensure the safety of the modern day vehicle.
The letter is a pre-emptive warning for an industry, who uses digital connectivity as a point of product innovation, that they could now be on the radar for criminals. Written by a group that goes by the name ‘I am The Calvery’, the letter reads:
‘Modern vehicles are computers on wheels and are increasingly connected and controlled by software and embedded devices. These new technologies enable innovations designed to increase vehicle safety and bring other positive features. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, driverless cars, automated traffic flow, and remote control functions are just a few of the evolutions under active development.’
‘New technology introduces new classes of accidents and adversaries that must be anticipated and addressed proactively. Malicious attackers, software flaws, and privacy concerns are the potential unintended consequences of computer technologies driving this latest round of innovation. The once distinct worlds of automobiles and cyber security have collided. In kind, now is the time for the automotive industry and the security community to connect and collaborate toward our common goals.’
The group outlines a proactive five point plan which aims at addressing the potential threats that technology has brought to automobiles. The group suggests to concentrate on safety by design, third-party vendor collaboration and ensuring evidence capture and best practice protocols. Further suggestions include security updates and the segmentation and isolation of non-critical in-car systems like entertainment.
The group hope that being proactive about the security implications of the modern day car will ensure the new technologies within the industry can thrive and create consumer trust. Criminals evolve as much as the landscape they work in and so the time is ripe to make sure a new underground market is not created that leverages of penetrating the ‘SmartCar’ of the future. OCM.
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