Half of 'smart cars' vulnerabilities give hackers control

Remember that cyber-experiment when a couple of hackers managed to take control over a speeding car in the middle of the highway?

Well, IOActive recently published a study, entitled Commonalities in Vehicle Vulnerabilities, after three years of testing, and the results are quite scary.

It tested a 'leading vehicle manufacturer' and said half of the found vulnerabilities could allow hackers either partial, or full control over the target vehicle.

What's more, almost three quarters of these vulnerabilities could be exploited quite easily, which makes IOActive conclude that they most likely will be exploited.

Half of the vulnerabilities found (50 per cent) were deemed 'critical' or 'high impact' because they would draw much media attention, could mean regulatory violation, or could have serious effects on the vehicle.

Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of vulnerabilities were deemed 'medium'.

“The days when a rogue street urchin wielding a coat hanger was the main threat to vehicle security are long gone,” said Corey Thuen, senior security consultant at IOActive and whitepaper author.

“As the report shows, we have uncovered a number of ‘hair-on-fire’ vulnerabilities that could easily be exploited at any moment. Manufacturers really need to wake up to the risks they face in the connected world,” he said.

“The most effective cyber security work occurs during the planning, design and early implementation phases of the products, with the difficulty and cost of remediation increasing in correlation with product age and complexity,” he said.