Ransomware poses serious risks to mobility networks

It is no secret that modern vehicles are at risk of being hacked, but attacks could feasibly target entire fleets and public transit. By Freddie Holmes

Cyber security is an ever-evolving issue and fixes installed one day could become outdated the next. As such, the task of protection is becoming increasingly difficult with modern vehicles.

To provide greater connectivity and autonomous driving functions, more electronic control units (ECUs) are being integrated within the vehicle, each bringing its own vulnerabilities. Cloud connectivity and remote updates are increasingly common, and even electric powertrains can now be monitored through a smartphone app, which research teams have already been able to exploit. In August 2021, UK-based Pen Test Partners revealed multiple vulnerabilities in both domestic and public charging networks, which could lead to electricity theft and access to user accounts.

Every new connection makes the vehicle more exciting and useful for drivers, but also more challenging for cyber security teams. “There are more and more threats appearing,” says Jan-Jaap Jager, Board Advisor and Chief Revenue Officer at Acronis, a leader in data protection and anti-ransomware. “It used to be a case of trying to prevent someone from physically breaking into the car, but that is not enough anymore. Cars today now rely heavily on software and electronics, which are all attack points.”

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