Automotive security: How safe is a next-generation car?

The vehicles we drive are becoming increasingly connected through a variety of technologies. Features such as keyless entry and self-diagnostics are becoming commonplace. Unfortunately, they can also introduce IT security issues. Steve Grobman, President of Intel’s Automotive Security Review Board, believes that safety is an absolute imperative, but we need to consider the convergence of connected cars with a trend such as ransomware. If we have millions of connected cars on the road, and cybercriminals infect tens of thousands of cars, dealerships will only be able to accommodate a limited number of ransomware car infections at any given time. Given the incentive structures around ransomware, and the tremendous number of potential targets, it’s not a stretch to imagine something like ransomware becoming as great a concern for automakers as the safety nightmare scenarios so often posed in this area.