Car security experts are now launching an attack on cyber-criminals.
Establishing standards to promote consumer confidence around vehicle cyber security is high on the agenda for Thatcham Research, as the British insurers’ research centre turns attentions to combatting future car crime as the newest members of the Cyber Security Consortium for Connected Vehicles (CCV).
Connected vehicle technology provides the basis for many emerging driver assistance and comfort systems yet it’s this convergence between automotive and computer technology that could also provide opportunity for cyber attackers.
According to Thatcham’s Chief Technology Officer Andrew Miller, the key to keeping thieves at bay is in a joined up approach to creating robust standards.
“There are a wide range of stakeholders with an obvious interest in this area from the likes of Google and Apple who are increasingly moving into the automotive space to the more traditional vehicle manufacturers.
“With this mix of interested parties it’s critical to quickly establish a set of robust security standards and protocols around cyber security that everyone can agree and work to and which will avoid the kind of fragmented approach that hackers could exploit.”
According to government statistics, the scale of cyber-crime is already thought to cost the UK economy over £27 billion per year, whilst the idea of a third party being able to ‘hack’ in and take over a vehicle’s controls is a terrifying prospect.
“No connected computer system can be 100% guaranteed, and as technological development in the automotive industry continues at pace so that security threat potentially increases,” added Miller. “However, Thatcham have demonstrated previously how a collaborative approach can help the authorities stay one step ahead of the criminals.”
Britain’s used car buyers are gambling with over £6.1 Billion annually when they fail to check a vehicles provenance, says the RAC.
It found only on-in-ten buyers looks up the vehicle’s ownership history and confirm the seller is the legal owner.