Intel Ups Ante Against Car Hackers

Updated on

Intel’s cyber security division made several recommendations to car owners for saving their cars from hackers. This division announced a new task force on Monday for blocking hackers from accessing vehicles that remain connected to the internet with the help of services like Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay.

Intel suggests a collective effort

In a report, Intel’s McAfee detailed recommendations for keeping the cars safe to prevent costly recalls. Two of the top recommendations made by Intel are car owners should be aware whether the core computer system of their car is separate from their stereo system or not, and second, owners should be aware that the core computer of their car can be remotely updated by the manufacturer with the latest anti-virus software.

“Cars are like any other computing system, they have points of access and points of weakness,” senior VP of Intel Security, Chris Young, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.’ “We do believe standards are going to be required here.”

The components used in a vehicle come from multiple manufacturers in the supply chain, therefore, keeping a car secure will require a lot of effort, and it should come collectively from the industry, Intel said. Young pointed to certain plans that need to be implemented such as stopping bad connections into the car, getting better breach-detection mechanisms in place and finding out ways for fixing a car quickly after it is hacked.

Growing need for security measures

Intel’s moves come at a time when there are growing concerns over vehicle security. In July, researchers were successful at hacking a Jeep Cherokee. Policymakers are demanding laws mandating stricter cyber-security rules for the automakers. According to Intel, a time will come when the manufacturers will communicate with drivers for installing the updates with help from an “update software” light, just like the “check engine light”.

Earlier this year, research firm Gartner predicted that by 2020, the number of connected passenger vehicles on the road is expected to be in the range of 150 million to 250 million. Vehicles that remain constantly connected to the Internet are more vulnerable to hacking, but Intel believes this can be used by the automakers to their advantage. Young said an ability to update a car gives the owner a similar ability to currently patching software vulnerabilities.

“We do need to be able to communicate with the vehicles when they are sleeping in the evening,” he noted.

Leave a Comment