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IoT Has Security Implications for Connected Cars

Not all will be perfect in the digital future

At NAB Show 2018, there was plenty of talk about data, connected cars, how to use the data generated and how the data generated needs to be protected. With the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IOT), that is no small task. A Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference presentation, “Hacking Everything: The Dark Side of the Internet” provided some perspective on that task.

IBM security architect Jeff Crume says “with IOT, everything is a computer. A car is not just a car; in fact it’s a computer that carries you places.” That mobile computer (a/k/a “connected car”) contains data on listening, location, and a portal to control vehicle systems. “We have cars on the road today that have twice the amount of code in them, that are in (computer) operating systems.” He raised another point about information security: “All computers can be hacked. If they’re operational, and you give someone enough time, there will be a way to break into it (the computer or device).”

[Read: What Happens When Your Network Is Hacked?]

As an example, he mentioned how connected DVR, players and other devices like pacemakers, insulin pumps, even airplanes have had the potential to be hacked. “The way you go in and make changes to these devices, and they have to be changed over time, is through a wireless connection. That means the “good guys” can install patches wirelessly and there remains the potential that the “bad guys” can install patches wirelessly as well, and what they would patch with is not the same thing.”

Crume said “I’m not saying this to be an alarmist; I say this so we get people’s attention and will start working on the problem.”

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