Thanks to advanced new technologies, automakers might soon be able to detect and prevent future threats coming from autonomous and connected car hackers – with the simulator testing for possible security flaws.
Scientists at the University of Warwick in the UK will lead new research into fighting the new wave of security crimes that are expected to plague connected and autonomous cars, with a 2.1 million pounds simulator dedicated towards simulated such possible scenarios. It uses a Faraday cage to make sure no wireless signals can enter the premise and can test in a safe way possible security flaws. “We’re going to do research that is ‘attacker in the loop’,” said Professor Carsten Maple, director for cyber security research. “People have gone in through DAB, through mobile networks; they may even be able to get access through malware on a mobile phone, or an embedded SIM in the vehicle,” he said. “We’ve got to plan for these risks.”
He said that for example the well known “Jeep hack”, where benevolent hackers took control of a Cherokee remotely and were able to control the vehicle, was actually possible thanks to a security issue with the mobile phone network, not the car. Besides studying the hacks, the simulator can also see how car and driver reacts to unexpected events. “We can put pedestrians, dogs and cyclists into the simulation and then make them behave in different ways and study responses,” comments principal engineer Gunwant Dhadyalla.