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Cybersecurity in autonomous and semi-autonomous systems is of high concern to manufacturers, especially in light of the recent EU Agency for Cybersecurity and Joint Research Centre report warning that autonomous vehicles carry serious cybersecurity risks.

The report noted that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in autonomous vehicles could endanger road users’ and pedestrians’ lives.

Some experts think it may never be possible to fully secure autonomous vehicles because of their complexity. However, autonomous vehicle technology can certainly be made more secure—even though autonomous vehicle cyberattacks are a worrying issue.

According to IEEE there are ways that autonomous vehicle manufacturers, cities, and drivers can protect autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. For example, cities could deploy multiple networks instead of one: Depending on a single network puts connected vehicles at greater risk from potential attacks. By creating many small networks, cities can reduce the risks.

Creating a unique password could also help with cybersecurity of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. There’s a good chance your vehicle comes with a default password that might be easy for hackers to guess. For instance, in 2019, someone hacked into thousands of vehicles simply by guessing the default password of their GPS tracking apps: “123456.”

And, just the simple act of shutting off GPS may deter cyber criminals. Current vehicle GPS systems are easily hacked through what’s known as “GPS spoofing.” This is where a bad actor interferes with a GPS location system by using a radio signal. For example, a hacker could use spoofing to halt a car in its tracks by tricking it into thinking it has reached its destination. Consequently, many cybersecurity professions believe GPS should only be enabled when needed.

It’s also crucial that autonomous vehicle owners truly understand their vehicles. While it might be easy to tell when something is wrong with a standard vehicle, the high level of complexity that underlies autonomous cars can make vulnerabilities difficult to spot.

Therefore, it’s important for drivers to familiarize themselves with their autonomous vehicles before getting behind the wheel.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Cybersecurity in Autonomous and Semi-Autonomous Systems, a 3-day specialized program that explores how manufacturers, suppliers and authorities can detect and respond to cyberattacks, unauthorized intrusions and false and spurious messages or vehicle control demands.

This course is especially beneficial for law enforcement professionals, motor manufacturers, systems and parts manufacturers and software developers.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us

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