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Cybercrime, automotive hacking incidents more than doubled in 2019

Atlas VPN: Automotive hacking incidents more than doubled in 2019. Data reveals that incidents are growing, and connected vehicles are the most targeted by cybercrime

Automotive hacking incidents more than doubled in 2019 compared to 2018. It has been discovered by Atlas VPN cyber security experts in an investigation. Data reveals that from 2016 to 2019, the number of automotive hacking incidents increased more than 7 times. Last year alone, the number jumped by nearly 138%. As of July 6, 2020, there have been 88 cases in the industry. It has to be noted that sometimes it takes months for the incident to become publicly disclosed. In addition, companies might choose to keep a hacker intrusion private as it hurts their reputation. Either way, researchers expect hacking they continue to increase in the upcoming years. In this framework, connected vehicles are the most targeted by cybercrime, as they are becoming a standard in the industry. 

The most common automotive hacking targets according to the cyber security experts

According the cyber security experts study, the most common automotive hacking methods exploit: Keyless entry/Key fob, Servers, Mobile Apps, OBD port, Infotainment, sensors, Wi-If, ECU/TCU/GW, Bluetooth, Cellular network, OBD dongle, and In-vehicle network. Of these, the keyless entry is the worst vulnerability for most manufacturers, as proven by a research carried out by German General Automobile Club (ADAC) in January 2019. It showed that 99% of brands using keyless systems were prone to get hacked, after a test of 237 keyless entry car models. Moreover, the experts found that 230 of them could be hacked within a few minutes.

Hacking the car servers could also physically endanger the victim, while cybercrime exploit weak mobile apps to unlock and steal the new generation vehicles

According to Atlas VPN, close second attack vector is control over car systems, with over 27.22% of all successful attack volume. When a hacker gains control over a server, it allows the criminal to access certain functionality within the connected vehicle. Cyber criminals can unlock the car and start or kill the engine after gaining access to the car’s systems. Simultaneously, if the system is advanced enough, hackers could disable the brakes while the vehicle is in motion. Due to these reasons, this hacking method is the most dangerous for the victims. Finally, on the third place there are the mobile applications. Around 12.72% of automotive cyber incidents happen due to vulnerabilities in the vehicle’s mobile application. Many new cars can be unlocked and even started via them.

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