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  • SheeldS Contributor

Our Future Vision | Hacktivism | Today my car became an activist

As vehicles become more integrated with the internet of things, will they become targets of political hacktivism?

This month, in our six-word short story series, we look at how increasing connectivity could open new arenas to political hacktivism. What cyber-security precautions can we take in a world in which you and your car could become an unwitting pawn in a political demonstration?

Hacktivism and state-sponsored cyber-attacks could jam the highways

In today’s political climate, activists and political actors of all flavors are looking for unique and effective methods of attracting media attention and publicity. Over the last decade, cyber-attacks have found greater resonance in the public consciousness, with hacking becoming a weapon in the arsenal of a wide number of cyber-literate political and hacktivism groups.

Although overall, we have seen a decrease in the number of publicized hacktivism attacks, there has been a general increase in politically motivated state-sponsored attacks. From the American and British elections, to supply chain and infrastructure, it is clear that cyber-attacks are not just limited to those clad in hoodies and Halloween masks.

As vehicles join the throng of devices connected to the internet of things, how long will it be until they become the unwitting pawn of a politically motivated attack or hacktivism demonstration?

In this month’s six-word short story, hacktivists have taken control of a section of a motorway. They’ve used V2X infrastructure to hack and immobilize the connected vehicles and arrange them to form their group’s logo.

While this kind of attack is still firmly restricted to science fiction, the level of connectivity and the associated vulnerabilities are not. Connected mobility is becoming a reality with the testing of intelligent transport systems happening on sections of live motorway.

Beyond future ITS, current technologies are vulnerable to remote attack. Take the now ubiquitous tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). These systems can be remotely hacked from the side of the road, spoofing radio transceivers within the TPMS module to gain access to the in-vehicle network (IVN), from where they can move onto more critical systems.

It is for this reason that is vital that vehicle manufacturers implement robust IVN intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), providing a level of real protection against both current and future threats.

**Cerrado, previously known as Arilou

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