Software in Works to Stop Self-Driving Cars From Getting Hacked

Connected cars are a vulnerable and dangerous target for hackers.

July 15, 2017 5:00 am
Anti-hacking software for your car
Automotive cybersecurity is a small, but growing field. (Getty Images)

Technology has gotten to the stage where cybersecurity is needed to protect cars, as well as computers.

Automakers dread the possibility of their vehicles getting hacked, but that likelihood increases as more become internet connected and autonomous. Karamba, based in Israel, is part of the small, but growing field of automotive cybersecurity with a mission to keep hackers out of cars.

It’s a threat is fundamentally different from an infected computer that results in files or technology lost. A hacked car quickly becomes a weapon on the road when the cyberattack happens. Once a car is hacked, it’s already too late, MIT Technology Review reports.

Instead of identifying network intrusions after the fact, Karamba’s software is design to keep them out in the first place. A vehicle’s electronic architecture is made of hundreds of electronic control units, which are basically small computers, that coordinate with each other and control the car’s machinery.

Karamba focuses on securing the few ECUs in the car, such as the automatic ignition or entertainment system, that actually send and receive signals outside of the car. The anti-hacking software is incorporated into the ECU at the factory, effectively sealing in the correct code and denying permission from anything else.

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