Automotive Cybersecurity: Discovering Your Car’s Vulnerabilities

The Threat of Automotive Cybersecurity

Car theft went up 20% between 2016 to 2019. All those conveniences we love, such as keyless car entry and built-in navigation increase our risk of cyber threats. This makes automotive cybersecurity an important aspect of vehicle ownership.

Vehicles have built-in security systems that offer protection, but that isn’t enough to provide complete coverage. As our vehicles become more “smart” wi-fi,  hackers will have a greater chance of breaching the vehicle’s security. Manufacturer conveniences such as Chrysler’s Uconnect or the Ford SYNC Connect make your car vulnerable.

Hackers may be able to attack your vehicle remotely using their laptop at home while you are driving miles away. By manipulating your navigation system and vehicle operation such as steering, braking, and cutting your engine, they make both your vehicle and you vulnerable.

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There are three main considerations when dealing with cybersecurity:

  • Detection and Incident Response: identity, report, and respond to threats and attacks;
  • Protect from External Attacks: Protect data and communications, prevent malware and unauthorized controls;
  • Authentication and Access Control: maintain control over who has access, and what they have access to do.

To prevent invasion, you need to understand the methods hackers use to access your vehicle.

Cyber Attack Methods

To gain access to your vehicle, the hacker must find the weak link that allows them into your auto system.

Physical Attack

This happens at a time when the hacker has physical access to your automobile. This can be at a service centre or if someone breaks into it. The hacker installs software or hardware that allows them control of your vehicle remotely while you are in it. If nothing else, then this should be a good enough reason to research or use a third-party platform such as RAC to find an approved auto garage such as OGS Mechanics LTD to perform any car repairs needed by qualified auto technicians.

Wireless Vulnerability

With this type of attack, the hacker does not need physical access to your vehicle. They may use wi-fi, Bluetooth, GPS, or cellular phone technology to gain access to your automobile systems.

Indirect Physical Vulnerability

This type of attack uses some type of medium, such as firmware updates, SD cards, or USB devices that allows them to install malware into your vehicle’s system. While it seems car manufacturers should be doing more to provide cybersecurity, the time it takes to conduct the research and testing will still leave them running to catch up with criminals.

Safety Measures

In 2017 and 2018 Keen Security Lab technicians were able to hack into a variety of Tesla vehicles. In 2019 a different team of ethical hackers was able to access a Tesla Model 3 computer. In 2020 the technicians were able to install a harmful code into a Lexus NX300.

Safety measures are a top priority in providing auto security:

  1. Change the default password on your vehicle to something unique;
  2. Update software on your automobile to make sure you have the latest protection patches;
  3. Turn off the GPS to prevent “GPS spoofing” via radio signal; turn on GPS only when necessary;
  4. Familiarize yourself with your autonomous vehicle systems, so you realize when something is not operating normally.

Simple Steps Help

Your key fob is vulnerable to hacking. By storing your key fob in a Faraday bag, you protect the data signals from hackers. You may also want to install a theft protection immobilizer system from Car Keys Solutions. This system prevents your vehicle from being drivable by thieves. It uses buttons already on your steering wheel for activation.

Your Key to Safety

If you are concerned about automotive cybersecurity, you need to contact Car Keys Solutions today. We are open 7 days a week from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. Our shop in East Finchley provides fast service. You are also welcome to contact us by phone at 0203 393 5669 for a fast response and emergency service. We service a wide area and look forward to helping you with all your lock-out and security needs.

Have you enjoyed our article? Please share on social media and while you’re there like our pages and give us a shoutout too,  to let us know how we are doing. Have any questions or would like to know more about how to improve the security of your vehicle? Or you want to schedule a booking? Please call us on 0203 393 5669. We provide a wide range of auto locksmith services. Did you know that you can have your car key replaced by using our mobile division? 

For car key repair you can visit one of our locations:

East Finchley – 142-144 East End Road, London, N2 0RZ
Kilburn – 286-288 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 2DB

or using our online repair services by post. Other car key services:

Spare car key
Car  key programming