Until quite recently, automotive security was synonymous with theft prevention. But with the software pie in the automobile growing exponentially to realize visions of the connected car and autonomous driving, security is now becoming synonymous with safety. And safety is undoubtedly the primary concern of every vehicle manufacturer. Recent experiments by researchers have demonstrated unaltered vehicles being remotely hacked into via their connected telematics unit and commanded to execute malicious code that allows the attacker to remotely control the vehicle.Thus, it has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt that security breaches in automobiles can have serious safety consequences.
Therefore, vehicle manufacturers have to make security as much a priority as safety. This paper gives an overview of security from an automotive perspective touching upon the motivations of attackers and the attack surfaces that a modern-day vehicle presents. This is followed by a brief discussion on the security characteristics unique to the automobile and mechanisms to address some, if not all of them. The paper concludes with a few approaches for the automotive industry to address the security requirement and Sasken’s involvement in this area.