• US stock market daily report (July 22, 2015, Wednesday)

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is increasingly concerned about the security of vehicle control systems, per Administrator Mark Rosekind on Tuesday.

    During a conference on autonomous and connected vehicle technology in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Rosekind said, “We know these systems will become targets of bad actors.” If consumers don’t believe that connected vehicle systems are safe and secure he said, “they will not engage it.”

    In an act that sharply escalates the stakes in the debate about the safety of Internet connected cars and trucks, a pair of veteran cybersecurity researchers have shown they can use the Internet to turn off a car's engine as it drives.

    The pair includes former National Security Agency hacker Charlie Miller, now at Twitter, Inc. (TWTR-NYSE) and IOActive researcher Chris Valasek. The team used a feature in the Fiat Chrysler telematics system Uconnect to break into a Jeep Cherokee being driven on the highway by a reporter for technology news site Wired.com.

    In a controlled test, Miller and Valasek turned on the radio and activated other inessential features via the Internet before rewriting code embedded in the entertainment system hardware to issue commands through the internal network to steering, brakes and the engine. They have been working with Fiat Chrysler since October 2014, giving the company enough time to construct a patch to disable a feature that the men suspected had been turned on by accident.

    The pair stressed that it would be easy to make modest adjustments to their code and attack other types of vehicles.

    At the Def Con security conference in August they plan to release a paper that includes code for remote access, which will no longer work on cars that have been updated.

    They said it would take months for other top-tier hackers to emulate the move from the entertainment system to the core onboard network computer.

    The team said hackers would need to know the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a car in order to attack it specifically and that IP address changes every time the car starts.

    Miller and Valasek said that car manufacturers adding new Internet-connected features should place more emphasis on creating safer capability for automatic over-the-air software updates, segregation of onboard entertainment and engineering networks as well as intrusion-detection software for stopping improper commands.

    Members of Congress, Democratic Senator Ed Markey and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced a bill on Tuesday that would direct the NHTSA to develop standards for isolating critical software and detect hacking as it occurs.

    Contributed by Millennium Traders
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