automotive

A brief history of software vulnerabilities in vehicles

Car Hacking News Timeline 2017-2019 [1] 2019: Hack of an OEM’s automotive cloud via third-party services and tier-1 supplier network 2019: Memory vulnerability at a cloud provider exposed data incl. passwords, API keys, and tokens 2019: A malware infection caused significant production disruption at a car parts manufacturer 2019: Vehicle data exposed during registration allowed for remote denial-of-service attacks on cars 2019: Malware infected the back end, making laptops installed in police cars unusable 2018: An ex-employee breached the company network and downloaded large volumes of personal information 2018: Cloud servers hacked and used for cryptomining 2018: Researchers exploited vulnerabilities of some infotainment systems and gained control of microphones, speakers, and navigation systems 2018: Security issues discovered in 13 car-sharing apps 2018: Researchers demonstrated >10 vulnerabilities in various car models, gaining local and remote access to infotainment, telematics, and CAN buses 2018: EV home chargers could be controlled by accessing the home Wi-Fi network 2017: Rental car companies exposed personal data 2017: Ransomware caused the stop of production across several plants Car Hacking News Timeline 2002-2015 [2] 2015: Researchers remotely sent commands to the CAN bus of a specific car that had an OBD2 dongle installed to control the car’s…

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Cybersecurity Engineering in the Automotive industry

A lot is happening in the Automotive industry these days. It has to do with connectivity, autonomous driving, autonomous parking, and so on. All these have one thing in common: they are producing extremely large amounts of data which needs to be processed in the backend by very powerful computers. When we talk connectivity, we MUST talk about cybersecurity.   This is why the Automotive industry has started to take this very seriously: We have the  ISO/SAE AWI 21434 : Road Vehicles — Cybersecurity engineering which is in the preparation stage We have the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) who have released the “Principles of Automobile Cybersecurity“ ACEA represents currently the 15 Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers (Source): BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Group, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group ACEA and its members have identified a set of six key principles to enhance the protection of connected and automated vehicles against cyber threats. 1. Cultivating a cybersecurity culture 2. Adopting a cybersecurity life cycle for vehicle development 3. Assessing security functions through testing phases: self-auditing & testing 4. Managing a…


Chinese Researchers Remotely Hack Tesla Model S (Update)

Security researchers from China-based tech company Tencent have identified a series of vulnerabilities that can be exploited to remotely hack an unmodified Tesla Model S while it’s parked or on the move. The researchers managed to perform various actions. While the vehicle was parked, the experts demonstrated that they could: control the sunroof, the turn signals, the position of the seats, all the displays, the door locking system. While the car was on the move, the white hat hackers showed that they could activate the windshield wipers, fold the side view mirrors, and open the trunk. They also demonstrated that a remote hacker can activate the brakes from a long distance (e.g. 12 miles, as shown in the experiment). WOW… this can be deadly!   But wait, after “several months of in-depth research” ? This means that they spent several months to search for vulnerabilities to exploit ? This is what I mean by being insistent. The most interesting part is the UPDATE. Tesla told SecurityWeek that it addressed the vulnerabilities found by Keen Lab within 10 days after learning of their existence. The company pointed out that the attacks are not “fully” remote and they are not as easy…


Car hacking again… now at high speed!

Not even a week has passed since I was writing about “Not yet worried about vehicle hacking? You should be!” and we see in the news that at Blackhat that exactly this is happening. At BlackHat USA this week, the security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek are scheduled to present their latest findings in the world of car hacking. Again ! Miller and Valasek have already made names for themselves last year with the dramatic hacking of Jeep Cherokee, a interfering with its entertainment system, engine and brakes, while it was being driven down a busy highway at 70mph. Fiat Chrysler announced back then a safety recall of 1.4 million vehicles. Now, the situation changed. “By sending carefully crafted messages on the vehicle’s internal network known as a CAN bus, they’re now able to pull off even more dangerous, unprecedented tricks like causing unintended acceleration and slamming on the car’s brakes or turning the vehicle’s steering wheel at any speed.”(Wired) Watch for yourself the movies on YouTube:   What does this mean? Thankfully, their previous work helped Chrysler create a security update to fix the flaw that gave them their earlier, remote access to the Jeep’s guts. This new hack, however, is…


Not yet worried about vehicle hacking? You should be!

  As a matter of fact, it is not only vehicles that can be hacked, actually any IoT device can be hacked. AV-Test.org published this paper about vulnerabilities in the fitness wristbands and Apple Watch, which shows how they tested and how secure the devices are. However, a hack of these IoT devices is not as dangerous as hacking a vehicle. I am not saying that they don’t matter, on the contrary. This is why I am mostly interested in vehicles: hacking can be dangerous and it is, with manufacturer’s permission at least, to improve their security.   According to the RSA presentation from Kelly Blue Book, 62% of consumers are worried that cars will be easily hacked in the future. In their corresponding report “Braking the Connected Car: The Future of Vehicle Vulnerabilities,” one in three prospective car buyers say connectivity is a big factor in their decision. Furthermore, they claim that 62% of consumers are worried that cars will be easily hacked in the future. And yet, 44% of consumers feel that the vehicle manufacturer is responsible for securing a vehicle from hacking. So much being personally accountable for our own security. This is actually no wonder – think of the…


BMW and cybersecurity

Not a month passes without seeing some major car manufacturer that has cybersecurity issues. This month we have seen made public a report from February 2016 related to BMW. The short story   The BMW ConnectedDrive Web portal was found to contain a vulnerability that could result in a compromise of registered or valid vehicle identification numbers, Vulnerability Lab warns. The security bug, affecting the BMW ConnectedDrive online service web-application, is a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) session vulnerability, security researcher Benjamin Kunz Mejri reveals. VIN, also known as chassis number, is a unique code used in the automotive industry to identify individual vehicles. The security flaw was discovered in February this year, when the researcher also found a client-side cross site scripting vulnerability in the official BMW online service web-application. By exploiting this issue, an attacker could inject malicious script codes to the client-side of the affected module context, the researcher says. The longer story In February 2016, when the ADAC’s security researchers were able to simulate the existence of a fake phone network, which BMW cars attempted to access, allowing hackers to manipulate functions activated by a SIM card. BMW said it had taken steps to eliminate possible breaches by…


Do you actually need a security product in your car? Part 3 : Intrusion Prevention and Detection Systems

I ended part 2 with the promise that we will discuss about : 2) Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS or IDPS) From Wikipedia: Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), also known as intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), are network security appliances that monitor network and/or system activities for malicious activity. The main functions of intrusion prevention systems are to identify malicious activity, log information about this activity, attempt to block/stop it, and report it. Intrusion prevention systems are considered extensions of intrusion detection systems because they both monitor network traffic and/or system activities for malicious activity. The main differences are, unlike intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems are placed in-line and are able to actively prevent/block intrusions that are detected. More specifically, IPS can take such actions as sending an alarm, dropping the malicious packets, resetting the connection and/or blocking the traffic from the offending IP address.   IDPS for cars? Once inside, an attacker can utilize the vehicle’s internal communication bus and take control of additional modules inside the vehicle, including safety critical systems like the ABS and Engine Electronic Control Units (ECUs). Therefore, there is no “trusted device” anymore. Everything has to be assumed to be compromised. The…


Do you actually need a security product in your car? Part 2: the classical antivirus

I wrote in the first part of this article about Detection, Protection, Remediation and I stopped at the part where we analyze what kind of security products do you need in the car of tomorrow. 1)The classical antivirus We know it to be used mostly for files. But it can much more than that. a) Files There are many files that can enter the car and can produce damages: music video updates (binary or data) scripts configuration files for various subsystems html and javascript (plain text) for rendering Java compiled files (especially if you run Android) possibly Adobe Flash (not sure though) possible Microsoft Silverlight (not sure though) PDFs (reports, help files) Emails (MIME) SMSs Plenty of files to scan, isn’t it? These files can either contain malicious code (Java, JS) or may be specially crafted to exploit known vulnerabilities. This means that there has to be a kind of file checking, so classical antivirus is definitely not dead, despite the vehement comments of some executives and marketing people that wanted to advertise their newest technologies. However, it should be kept in mind that these scanners are mostly signature based. I say “mostly” because even though there are a lot of other detection…


Let the competition for “securing the car” begin!

I didn’t actually want to write such a post, but several press releases drew my attention. So, the competition to protect the car has begun. Big players are now on the hunt for customers. But, when you talk to customers like Daimler, VW, BMW, Nissan and others, the discussions  will take a while. I will maintain the list below with technologies I see in categories. Please note that I write here only vendors that actually have a technology that mitigates threats in the cars and not just any vendor that talks generic about IoT or embedded solutions. I also exclude solutions which address only encryption and/or authentication because this is not enough to protect vehicles. Feel free to contact me if you see a vendor is not here and it should be.     Classic security vendors Company Technology Symantec Symantec Embedded Security: Critical System Protection       Newcomers Company Technology Argus Security Partnered with CheckPoint IDS/IPS TowerSec ECUShield             Vendors that have only papers: Company  Link Intel/McAfee http://www.mcafee.com/us/solutions/embedded-security.aspx


Do you actually need a security product in your car? Part 1: Prevention, Detection, Remediation

Note: This is going to be a somehow longer article which I will finish in a couple of related posts.   A security product is a program that Prevents that malware enters the system Detects if previously unknown malware is running on the system Remediates the actions of detected malware on the system Note that it is not mentioned *how* PDR gets implemented in practice. There are many ways to implement them and it is out of the scope of this article how this gets realized.   Back to our question: Do you actually need a security product in your car? Today, no, you don’t. But in 1-2 years the situation will change. Remember that in the automotive industry innovations need time until they reach the end-customers. Why? Read on…   The “Today” Why not today? The cars today are just beginning to become connected. It is like it was in the 80′ with the PCs: have little to no attack surfaces. They are mostly closed systems or have a single encrypted connection to a backend from which they get the data they need. the entry points in the car are: the infotainment system the ODB2 port the in-car Wi-Fi network…


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