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article imageSmart vehicles are vulnerable to cyberattacks

By Tim Sandle     Jan 6, 2020 in Technology
As road vehicles become more sophisticated, embracing a range of 'smart' technology products, the consequence is that vehicles are increasingly vulnerable to forms of cyberattack, a new study finds.
The research comes from Michigan State University. By applying criminal justice theory to smart vehicles, technologists identified a series of vulnerabilities with vehicle technology systems, showing potential cyber risks. Criminal justice theories provide useful tools that help explain human behavior and social phenomena. The theories are often divided between corrective justice, distributive justice, procedural justice, and retributive justice.
The reason for criminal theorists looking at cars is because automotive cybersecurity is a relatively under-explored field, yet one that is of increasing concern as cars become 'smarter' and opportunities for cyber-criminals increase.
The risks are with loss of personal data from hacking, and risks to life, such as a cyber-criminal changing the alert systems that inform a driver when tire pressure is low or if their is fault with the vehicle's brakes.
As lead researcher Professor Thomas Holt explains: "As the technology gets greater market share, it's critical to get ahead of the curve before there are issues we can't rein in."
One concern identified is because vehicle manufacturers are working with several different hardware and software companies, it has emerged that no one is technically responsible for the vehicles' central computer systems of many smart cars.
The researcher contends that governments and vehicle manufacturers need tart developing cybersecurity policies to protect users, vehicles and customers. Vehicle owners as well need to take some responsibility, the researcher argues, such as ensuring that they download and install the latest updates for their vehicle software.
The research has been published in the Journal of Crime and Justice. The research paper is titled "Automotive cybersecurity: assessing a new platform for cybercrime and malicious hacking."
More about smart vehicles, autonomous cars, selfdriving
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