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Smart Car Hacking & Forensics

Gabriel Cirlig & Stefan Tanase

Gabriel Cirlig & Stefan Tanase

Gabriel Cirlig & Stefan Tanase

Security Researchers from Ixia, a Keysight business

As "smart" is becoming the new standard for everything, malicious threat actors are quick to capitalize on the insecurity of IoT devices. Hackers compromising your network and spying on you is not something new in the world of personal computers, but definitely an emerging threat in the world of personal cars.

Security Researchers from Ixia: Gabriel Cirlig & Stefan Tanase spoke to about emerging threats in the world of personal cars. Their talk on smart car forensics and sensor warfare at, Netherlands is on the 13th September 2018.

(1) What is a smart car forensic? How can businesses use smart car forensics?

Gabriel: Smart car forensics is the process by which a third party can acquire data about how an intelligent vehicle has been used by its owner. This includes (and is not limited to) smartphone history, driving habits and GPS logs.

(2) How can we collect evidence from the car and make it useful for law enforcement agencies?

Gabriel: Whenever a crime has been committed, law enforcement agencies seize all the relevant assets that might be classified as evidence. In the recent past, this was mostly limited to PCs but has expanded to include smartphones, tablets, and other smart peripherals. A recent case has also included a smart car for the purpose of extracting the GPS logs of a suspect.

(3) How important is it to provide automotive security training to a programmer/developer working on a connected car technology platform?

Gabriel: With the advent of more complex attacks and broader infection vectors, it's only a matter of time until we have our first car botnet (Fast&Furious says hi). Unlike the case of a normal computer, having an infected ECU can lead to distractions or even injury of the driver. As we know, prevention is better than the cure, so acting in a timely manner and raising awareness about threats like these will prove beneficial in the long term.

(4) We have seen ransomware attacking our desktops and mobile devices. And soon there will be ransomware attacks on smart cars! What is the future of car hacking? And how it will impact the businesses?

Gabriel: As stated above, botnets are going to be one of the first threats that will spread to other cars, together with miners. Modern cars have a lot of computing power (think all the rendering that is done for displaying a pretty map) that is not used in day to day usage (we don't always use navigation). This will attract crypto miners and botnet creators alike. Another interesting case would be ransomware. Even though the incentive is not that high when you get your computer infected, this changes for a car for which you paid tens of thousands of dollars. Think about it, a couple of grand will look like a steal when you paid that much for your device.

They spoke to about emerging threats & future of car hacking through video:

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