sb-as logo
Story image

How hackers can wreak havoc on connected vehicles & ITS

25 Oct 2017

As the time approaches when autonomous vehicles and intelligent transport systems become commonplace, the IT security industry has been making sure those vehicles are protected against hacking and other cyber attack techniques.

Trend Micro has been on the leading edge of research and published a report that analyses Cyberattacks against Intelligent Transport Systems.

The company says that BI intelligence predicts that 82% of the cars to be shipped in 2021 will be connected in some way.  In addition, smart roads and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) will be used across urban planning and development in areas such as high-volume traffic movement efficiency and the creation of new economic opportunities.

“In today’s connected world of smart devices and ever-increasing volumes of disruptive and destructive cyber attacks, ITS cybersecurity is mandatory and should be considered a fundamental pillar in ITS architectures and frameworks,” comments Trend Micro senior security architect Dr Jon Oliver.

“Earlier this year, we already saw the WannaCry ransomware infecting speed cameras in Victoria. Adding security to an existing solution is always more difficult and costly than building that security from day one. We recommend that the people building ITS systems look into policies and methods so that security can be built into ITS systems in a cost-effective way from its infancy in Australia.”

The security industry has been focusing on car hacking techniques in order to understand attack vectors against modern vehicles and future autonomous vehicles. Hackers could potentially gain control over vehicle functions and steal data, the company explains.

Those hackers could comprise nation states, criminal gangs, hacktivists, cyberterrorists, insiders, ‘unscrupulous operators’ and natural disasters, the report states.

The possibility of ransom demands, data theft, information warfare, system gaming and theft and revenge and terrorism are the most likely motivations for attack.

Those attacks could also be conducted by physical, wireless and network attacks – or a combination of all of them.

“It is very possible that a singular attack can involve all three attack categories at the same time. For example, in an attack against a traffic flow controller device such as Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), the attackers can send the device incorrect/improper commands via a wireless link, by physically connecting to the device, and/or over the network using a compromised controller application. The nature and functionality of DMS make this attack vector multimodal,” the report explains.

The key principle of defense is to assume compromise and take countermeasures:

• Quickly identify and respond to ongoing security breaches.

• Contain the security breach and stop the loss of sensitive data.

• Preemptively prevent attacks by securing all exploitable avenues.

• Apply lessons learned to further strengthen defenses and prevent repeat incidents.

Story image
COVID-19-themed threats, Powershell malware continue surge
“The world—and enterprises—adjusted amidst pandemic restrictions and sustained remote work challenges, while security threats continued to evolve in complexity and increase in volume."More
Story image
Cybersecurity budgets still not keeping up with threats — report
Executive teams are failing to recognise the level of damage cyber-threats pose to organisations, according to Sophos — many of them taking a ‘conservative approach’ to cybersecurity expenditure.More
Story image
97% of organisations experienced a mobile threat in 2020 — report
93% of these attacks originated in a device network, which includes attempts to trick users into installing a malicious payload via infected websites or URLs, or to steal users’ credentials.More
Story image
Need for greater understanding of data security responsibility as cloud adoption grows - report
Despite the accelerated adoption of cloud services, there was a lack of clarity and confidence regarding the protection and recovery of data stored in public clouds.More
Link image
Webinar: Securing privileged access to stop attackers in their tracks
Thycotic's immersive webinar will demonstrate how attackers acquire passwords on endpoints and access critical cloud applications — without being detected.More
Story image
Ransomware and Microsoft Exchange attacks surging 
There are global surges in ransomware attacks alongside increases in cyber attacks targeting Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities, according to Check Point Research.More