It is difficult these days to escape news of some sort of hack taking place. Whether it be hotels, pizza, telecoms, web service providers, or, of course, credit agencies. It should not surprise anyone that as automobiles become more technical in every way, they too are targets for hackers. The industry is starting to try to fight back. Or, at least protect itself as best as possible.
The Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or Auto-ISAC, announced last week that “it is accepting participation from strategic partners to support the Auto-ISAC's mission to develop an enhanced information sharing community focused on vehicle cybersecurity awareness and collaboration across the global automotive industry.” With a Best Practices in place since 2016, the Auto-ISAC is now trying to protect the auto industry from cyber threats as best as possible.
A noble goal, for sure. But one that will surely be difficult to achieve. Hackers always seem multiple steps ahead of pretty much any industry trying to keep them out. And, there are so many entry points in a vehicle with more coming every day. Your car’s internal components connect to each other. Your car connects to Wi-Fi (will a VPN even work with car Wi-Fi?) Your car will be connecting to other cars soon (if not already) to share information and data. Your car may connect to your insurance company. Your car will connect to the transportation grid. In fact, it is difficult to think of anywhere that your car will not connect.
Thankfully, your car may not have the most traditional data that hackers want such as credit cards, social security numbers, and addresses. But, guess what else your car connects to – and surely it already does today – your phone. Suddenly, the vehicle you are driving is an access point to your phone, which has anything and everything someone would want to know about you to hack. Contacts. Emails. Texts. Credit cards. Perhaps even a social security number. Bank accounts. Insurance information. Everything is on your phone.
Let’s hope that the Auto-ISAC and other automotive companies and groups are successful and protecting our data as much as possible. Though, the main protection for auto might be that there are so many other places to hack, with so much more directly personal information, that auto’s may just not be worth the effort. Gulp!