By on April 12, 2016


Apparently, it’s Technology Tuesday here at TTAC, so we can bring you news of a device that will kick your deeply held fears to the curb.

Vehicle hacking has been an issue ever since a Jeep Cherokee had its steering, transmission and brakes commandeered last summer, and an Israeli firm is now offering protection against keyboard warriors, according to CNBC (via Business Insider).

Karamba Security unveiled a security system designed for connected vehicles last week, promising a wall of defense against malevolent malware enthusiasts. The system shuts down any code that wasn’t written by the automaker’s tech team, preventing outsiders from hijacking a vehicle’s operating systems.

Infotainment and GPS systems are the keyhole that hackers wriggle through to get at the systems that affect driveability, so this is where Karamba’s firewall would sit. To get its technology into vehicles, Karamba would have to form a partnership with the manufacturers who provide the systems to automakers.

There’s plenty of competition from larger security players in this emerging field, but the speed at which vehicles are becoming connected is increasing, making it a race for Karamba and others to stay ahead of the hacker’s game. Autonomous systems are being put in charge of ever more vehicle functions, providing new doors for hackers to walk through.

It’s not hard to imagine the havoc that could be caused by a vehicle’s automatic emergency braking system suddenly activating on a highway, or the fancy doors of the upcoming Lincoln Continental failing to unlock on a hot day. And self-driving cars … well, that could turn into Speed 3 in a hurry.

Frankly, if Hollywood scriptwriters aren’t getting inspiration from some of these ideas, they’re even dumber than people assume.

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9 Comments on “Relax, Your Car Will Soon Be Safe From Revenge-Driven Extortionist Hackers...”

  • avatar

    Gee wiz, another Israeli information technology security firm.

    PRO TIP: You employ current and former hackers along with current and former members of the gov’t intelligence community in an effective information technology security company. If a firm can protect you from the “bad guys” they can also become the “bad guys” and use it against you as it suits them.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting relationship.

      Who would of thought that the “war on terror” would be a spin off growth industry?

      That to a certain degree explains Bush War 2.0. Go into Iraq and totally f^ck the place up which in turn spawned an entire generation of angry young men i.e. Daesh fodder.

      In the USA angry religious men support Trump. Go figure.

      • 0 avatar

        Hackers and intelligentsia have gone hand in hand long before 2001, which most people don’t realize. Speaking of the so called “war on terror” here’s something interesting:

        L Paul Bremer, the first administrator of Iraq, started his career in the US Foreign Service in 1968 with a deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan. He was an assistant to Secy Kissinger in the 70s, later Secy Gen Haig in 1981, and was appointed Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism and Coordinator for Counterterrorism in 1986, before retiring from gov’t in 1989 to become a managing director at Kissinger and Associates. The reason this is of consequence is because it has long been known some members of the Foreign Service act either directly as spies or work in concert with CIA.

        So Bremer directly worked for two Secretaries of State and was given a plum appointment as Ambassador to the Netherlands along with that counter-terrorism nod. In my estimation this man “made his bones” in some way behind the scenes in order to get all of those appointments, Kissinger doesn’t just hire anyone as a managing director of his private company. Then later they tap him to head up the Iraqi occupational government under the direct “authority, direction and control” of Secy Rumsfeld. In order words, they trusted him to be someone who will do as he was told when needed. Bremer was a cog in a larger war machine. I also find it curious he was apparently working for Marsh & McLennan in World Trade North Tower when it came down. Just happened to not be in the office that day I suppose.

        “Bremer and 1,700 of the employees of Marsh & McLennan had offices in the World Trade Center. Bremer’s office was in the North Tower.”

        “Everybody present in the offices at the time of the attack died, and the firm lost 295 employees and 63 contractors.[1]”

        “On October 11, 2001, Marsh established a crisis consulting practice specializing in terrorism, with Ambassador L. Paul Bremer as Chairman and Andrew R. Daniels as President and COO. Marsh also announced a partnership with Control Risks Group to provide political risk assessment.”


        I don’t know too many angry religious men, but many men and women here are in agreement with Trump’s economic ideas but aren’t vocal about it. I can’t speak for Canada, but things aren’t getting better here. I had a discussion over the weekend with some of my peers, looking back at our late grade school/high school years the economic reality at the time seems like it was 1,000 years ago and not merely twenty or so. Personally I don’t think it can be “fixed”, Trump ideas or no. Stabilization is the best we can hope for in the next eight years IMO.

  • avatar

    My HELLCAT lacks the electronic steering and computerized parking controls of the newfangled tech.

    Even the angriest hacker can’t interrupt my driving sessions.

    • 0 avatar

      speaking of angry hacks…aaaaaaaaaaaaand there go my posting rights to the site for a while…sh*t.

    • 0 avatar

      Sure they can, they just point a Toyonda at your broadside while you’re sitting at a red light. They you sue Toyonda for putting a hackable network in their cars. Then networks go away completely, and everybody wins. Except your wrecked Hellcat.

    • 0 avatar

      HELLCAT BSG (BattleStar Galactica). In the reboot, the Galactica was an old battleship about to be mothballed and used for spare parts. But being “unconnected” is what let it survive the Cylon attack. The newer high tech ships were electronically taken over.

      Anyway, back on topic, a firewall is a good idea, but a better idea is to always build in a manual override.

  • avatar

    If this story makes you chuckle, run a quickie search on “Michael Hastings Mercedes” and that smirk will get wiped off your face in a hurry.

  • avatar

    I wonder if this hacking concern is blown out of proportion. My Escape Hybrid has two data buses. One is high-speed and includes all the vehicle operation systems mentioned as being vulnerable. The medium or low-speed bus includes pedestrian stuff like the sound system. So far as I know, you can’t access the high-speed bus from the other one. I also have no idea how common it is for cars to have two separate data buses.

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