Connected fleets and EVs could pose greatest cyber risk, says GuardKnox
Connected Fleets and EVs could be at the biggest risk of future mass infrastructure cyber hacks that automakers will have to gear up to prevent.
That’s the view of Moshe Shlisel, CEO of cyber-security specialist GuardKnox who points out that these automotive sectors have become important parts of a nation state’s core infrastructure. The company, in common with many of Israel’s current technology innovators, draws on its roots working for the nation’s advanced military capability.
Shlisel, himself a veteran of the Israeli Air Force, enjoyed early insights into how military aircraft were the pioneers of connectivity and the first to be aware of the threats to cyber-security. Speaking to TU-Automotive ahead of CES 2021, he said: “Here’s something we have pitched for the past three or four years, that cyber-security cannot be patched in, it should be cyber-security by design. Israeli fighter jets have been connected for 40 or more years and, while no-one will say it, they would have been targets for cyber attacks. However, they were no hacked because they were designed to be connected not just because someone decided to put in an ECU with a SIM card.”
Shlisel says this is the core problem that the automotive sector has yet to successful master, leaving it prey to malicious attacks on a massive scale. He explained: “There are economic forces behind these things. Imagine those fleets of vehicles that are doing deliveries all over Europe and the US right now, will get hacked. Then it’s going to affect the entire economy. Right now these fleets are not treated as a part of the national infrastructure but the internet is. When those trucking companies are connected to the internet there is a huge risk.”
However, an even greater potential risk lies within the growing adoption of electrified vehicles, where full BEVs or plug-in hybrids. Both rely on frequent use of electric energy drawn from the grid or, in the case the more advanced V2G compatible vehicle such as the latest Nissan Leaf cars, able to return excess electricity back into the grid. This may not be very desirable in Shlisel’s opinion.
He said: “Another threat is that electric vehicles are going to be connected through the charging stations, eventually through the grid to the power plants. Can someone assure me that those vehicles are not going to be the loophole in the system where a hacker will not be able to hack into the power plant? I’m willing to have a bet with you, no one would be able to tell me that.”
To read the complete article, visit TU-Automotive.