How to Keep Autonomous Cars Safe? GM May Have to Ditch the Radio

Automakers are fighting to make autonomous cars a reality as soon as possible. But driverless cars, like most modern cars, have to confront the possibility of being hacked.

How, then, shall we prevent driverless cars from being taken over from outside agents? Cruise Automation’s in-house hackers say “if you don’t need something, take it out.”

That’s according Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, security architects at GM’s autonomy subsidiary, who gave a speech at Black Hat USA in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Back in 2015, the pair gained control of a Jeep Cherokee by reprogramming its vehicle-control system over the internet. The hack was just for demonstration purposes, but led to the recall of more than 1.4 million FCA vehicles.

Still, that hack and the many others that have happened recently, point out the security flaw in all new vehicles caused by many of the features we now take for granted. Those include bluetooth or even the radio.

In the tech industry, this is known as reducing a system’s attack surface. Anything that responds to outside inputs is a potential chink in the proverbial armor. So take it all out.

The pair pointed out that the advantage of autonomous cars for this safety measure is that they don’t have the same requirements for hands-free operation. Why connect your phone to your car’s infotainment system when you can just use your phone normally.

[source: Yahoo Finance]

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