10 Apr
2023
8
min read

A Brief Look Into Automotive Hacking

The growing level of car connectivity is one of the key factors for an increase in automotive hacking. Cars are more at risk of assault as they become more connected to the internet and other gadgets. So in this blog, I've examined some of the most popular techniques for car hacking and considered defences against them.

Harmony Chidera

What does "automotive hacking" mean?

Automotive hacking is simply getting access into a car's computer systems without authorization. It is the practice of breaking into a car by locating vulnerabilities in the software, hardware, or communication technologies like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. 

Modern cars have a lot of technologies that make driving quicker, more enjoyable, and sometimes even safer. In fact, cars have more lines of code than airplanes in some circumstances. 

The more connected your car is and sophisticated the system, the more functions that may be susceptible to hacking and, once compromised, the more things you can take control of. 

In some cases, hackers may be able to perform actions such as moving the car, shifting gears, controlling breaks and other safety features, starting the car without the keys, or obtaining the owner's travel information. 

Tools and Methods for Automotive Hacking

Automotive hackers can access vehicles in several methods, including:

1. Physical hardware manipulation: This entails physically modifying the car's parts in order to get beyond security measures. For instance, a hacker may install their own device in place of the car's ECU (Electronic Control Unit), giving them access to the systems of the vehicle.

2. Exploiting software flaws: In order to access a car's systems, hackers can discover and use software flaws. If they get access, they can carry out a variety of tasks, such as remotely manipulating the car or stealing data.

3. Changing the communication systems: Car hacking may also entail changing the systems that allow automobiles to connect to the internet and communicate with other devices. Hackers are able to access a car's systems and data by eavesdropping on and altering these communications.

What Steps Should Be Taken to Prevent Such Attacks?

Owners Should

Update Systems Often

To get the most recent bug fixes, it's critical to maintain your car's software up to date. These important updates include security patches for recognized flaws in the vehicle's systems. It is important to only source updates from trusted and verified sources (such as the manufacturers themselves) because vulnerabilities can appear as a result of rogue updates.

Restrict access

Create password-protected accounts to reduce the number of persons who can access the data about your vehicle. As a result, access will be restricted to users with authorized accounts and assist prevent unauthorized login attempts.

Manufacturers Should 

Put a stop to unauthorized communications

A cyber attack frequently starts by sending data packets and harmful malware to a vehicle. It is advised that the internal network of the car has a built-in firewall to stop hackers. V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communication with the vehicle should be limited to authorized parties by a reliable firewall (vehicle-to-everything).

Test Regularly

Have cybersecurity experts support the design, development, and testing phases of the car manufacturing lifecycle. This means ensuring that each component is designed with security and that the security is verified once the car has been fully developed. Testing should be repeated regularly to ensure that changes in the threat landscape do not weaken the car’s security posture.

bug report

Get a Free Trial  From Cytix

Haven’t tried Cytix yet? Try our free trial to see how it works.

Get a Free Trial

Conclusion

Vehicles are more susceptible to threats as they become more networked. It is impossible to overestimate the significance of connected vehicles or their advantages. Manufacturers must consider security and prioritize, assess, and manage vulnerabilities as vehicles become more sophisticated.

Q&A

Question 1: What is automotive hacking?

Automotive hacking is the unauthorized access to a vehicles electronic systems, which can result in theft, control loss, and even accidents. It affect drivers by compromising the safety and privacy while driving.

Question 2: What are some examples of automotive attacks?

These include exploiting vulnerabilities in a car's wireless communication, remote keyless entry, and infotainment system. Attackers can access the car's computer network, disable the brakes, or take control of the steering wheel.

Question 3: How can I protect my car from automotive hacking?

Keep your car updated with the latest software and firmware patches. Be careful when connecting your smartphone to the cars infotainment system, and avoid using unsecured public WiFi networks. Use a reputable anti-virus software and keep it up to date.

Question 4: What should I do if my car get hacked?

Turn off the engine as soon as possible and pull over safely. Contact your car manufacturer or dealership immediately and seek professional help.

Start Detecting Vulnerabilities Others Miss Today

  • Detect Vulnerabilities Faster
  • Patch Vulnerabilities Faster
  • Be more compliant
Learn More
business

Detect, Resolve &
Patch Faster With Cytix

Get a free test today and see how it works.
CTA Image
cta rectangle image
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.