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automotive security

Hi-tech car theft warning from Which?

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

New research by consumer watchdog Which? has found that four of the five best-selling car brands in the UK are susceptible to so called ‘keyless theft’.

Analysed data from roadside recovery organisation General German Automobile Club (ADAC) by Which? revealed that out of 237 keyless cars tested by ADAC for keyless attacks only three remained secure, with the Ford Focus, Nissan Qashqai, VW Golf and Ford Fiesta all at risk.

Latest models of Range Rover and Discovery, along with the 2018 Jaguar i-Pace, were resistant to keyless theft.

Thieves fool the car’s onboard keyless security by bypassing the systems with devices that allow them to access the vehicle and drive away. More than 106,000 offences of theft of a motor vehicle were reported to police in England and Wales up to March 2018, the highest figure since 2009, with keyless technology thought to be partly responsible.

In a statement, Which? said: ”Thieves have been using keyless theft for several years, but manufacturers continue to make new models that can be stolen in this way, meaning there is an ever-larger pool of vehicles for thieves to target.”

In a response to the findings, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) said that new cars were “more secure than ever”, with manufacturers “investing billions” in sophisticated security features.

Meanwhile, the AA has released a video sharing its top 10 tips for avoiding car break-ins in light of new Home Office figures that show a 50% increase in vehicle thefts in the last five years.

In 2017, there were 280,313 recorded thefts from vehicles in England & Wales, up 13% on 2016, while 103,644 were stolen, up 19% on 2016.

Automotive Cybersecurity

Honeywell and LG collaborate on automotive cybersecurity, targeting fleets

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Honeywell and LG Electronics have teamed up to develop an automotive software technology and infrastructure solution to address threats associated with the increase in vehicle connectivity technology.

The partners say their collaboration provides automakers a next generation cybersecurity solution for system communications within the vehicle, as well as an increasing amount of external communications via cellular and satellite connectivity.

In particular they’re focused on the unserved needs of the auto industry to cover the entire cybersecurity chain, from individual gateway protection, through threat monitoring of fleets.

The solution will integrate LG’s intrusion, detection and protection software (IDPS) technology for securing vehicle hardware from external attacks with Honeywell’s IDPS solutions for securing internal vehicle communication and control networks, along with its security monitoring and analytics capabilities for security operation centers.

The collaborative solution helps ensure passenger vehicle safety and security by identifying and validating software commands and data generated by the more than 100 million lines of code that govern modern vehicle operation. LG’s electrical gateways and security modules, telematics control unit (TCU), and electronic control unit (ECU) can be an effective toolset for detecting and reporting anomalies preceding a mechanical failure or intentional hack of the vehicle.

Honeywell’s software detects anomalies and protects in-vehicle network traffic when the global security operation centers receive captured data transmitted in either real time or via a scheduled download. These security centers monitor large fleets to provide analytics coupled with an understanding of underlying issues to provide effective remediation options to the auto maker.

Lee Woo-jong, president of the Vehicle Components Company of LG Electronics, said: “LG Electronics has recognized the importance of automotive cybersecurity as cars are increasingly connected to external networks to provide rich services to end users. In order to provide secure products to our OEM customers, we have been heavily investing on cybersecurity of both software and hardware and offering highly secure products to our OEMs. We have experience in providing various automotive security solutions for ECU/TCU and external network protection. By integrating Honeywell’s security software with LGE’s security solutions, we expect to provide a next generation cybersecurity solution that protects the entire vehicle from external and internal networks as well as the ECU/TCU system and application layers.”

Olivier Rabiller, Honeywell Transportation Systems president and CEO, said: “There are more than a dozen clearly defined attack surfaces that can provide points of entry for hacking into a passenger vehicle, and the number is growing fast. We are supporting our OEM customers with our differentiated software platform to address the cybersecurity challenge inherent to connected and autonomous vehicle development. We are developing a network of partners and collaborating specifically with LGE to ease the integration work for our customers and provide a comprehensive cybersecurity solution.”