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Connected cars ‘pose cyber security challenge’

The rapid development of connected cars poses a significant cyber security risk, a senior security expert says.

David Emm from Kaspersky Lab was commenting on the number of technologies presented at this year’s CES tech event that support the future of autonomous or automated driving, including parking assist, collision avoidance, emergency braking and more.

While these technologies offer safer, more efficient driving experiences and comfortable journeys, Mr Emm warned that they come with new security threats that could pose serious problems if left unaddressed.

Speaking to CIO, Mr Emm said: “The automotive industry is facing some tough challenges in terms of cybersecurity. Over the last year, research has shown that connected cars can be hacked and controlled remotely – the researchers achieved this by exploiting a zero-day vulnerability they found in the car’s computer system.

“Further, manufacturers opting for a popular platform such as Android face the same security scenarios as mobile devices run on the same operating system, such as malicious applications and perhaps even ransomware.

“And then, the data gathered and communicated by connected vehicles could be intercepted to reveal private information about the vehicle, its occupants, destinations and more, all of which would increase physical vulnerability.”

Mr Emm said that in order to enjoy the benefits of connected driving, it is crucial that the automotive industry focuses on security from the start of development, including installing security software and making sure it is regularly updated.

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