BT has just announced that it’s working on security for the connected car, with the launch of a new BT Assure Ethical Hacking for Vehicles service. The idea behind the service is to improve connected car security by determining the risks and developing appropriate counter-measures.
These risks range from stealing data related to car systems, through to potential hazards such as the remote hijacking of a vehicle.
BT’s ethical hacking team will subject cars to a range of tests probing Bluetooth links, USB ports, DVD drives, 3G (or 4G) mobile links and so on to determine their vulnerabilities.
Hubertus von Roenne, Vice President Global Industry Practices at BT Global Services, commented:
“Vehicles are now connected devices, confronting manufacturers and suppliers with a whole new world of security challenges. For example, we have seen cars infected with malware while connected to a power charging station – because nobody had expected this would be possible.
“We use the expertise and knowledge of our Ethical Hacking consultants to identify these vulnerabilities – before others do. BT has decades of experience in securing connected devices and embedded systems across various industries and we are very proud to now offer that experience to the automotive industry.”
Roy Tobin, threat researcher at Webroot said of the initiative:
“This is an extremely timely announcement after the news that a threat researcher was detained by the FBI for tweeting about hacking an aircraft over the weekend. It’s obvious that everyone is taking connected transport and cyber threats extremely seriously right now.
This move from BT highlights a number of security issues and its one reason why many people are a reluctant to have these systems in their vehicles.”
The telecommunications giant hopes that the new ethical hacking initiative can help quell concerns that hackers will be able to breach car systems and control critical functions of connected vehicles. Others fear that the data gathered from connected cars, such as drivers’ habits, could be used for commercial purposes without the owners’ permission.
The ‘BT Assure Ethical Hacking for Vehicles’ service promises to offer a verified end-to-end security analysis of connected cars, testing and monitoring all of the smart devices and equipment which communicate with and from the vehicle.