By Tom Brewster
There are a handful of real and present threats. In automobiles, trucks are a major concern. Many contain standardised code to manage vehicles, such as the control area network (CAN) bus protocol, used for internal communications between devices in a vehicle.
“CAN messages that control physical attributes are standardised. Therefore, if you figure out a hack for one manufacturer others will be quite similar if not identical,” says Chris Valasek, director of security intelligence for IOActive.
One of the functions that has understandably worried onlookers in the trucking and security industries is the kill switch that powers the vehicles down. “Some fleets use the GPS tracking and ‘check-out’ systems to control access to the trucks when they are in depots or secure overnight storage locations to prevent the truck being stolen,” Ollmann adds.