New security measures to protect your car from potential hackers

Scientists have devised a new security protocol to protect cars especially smart cars from potential hackers which are equipped with global positioning system (GPS), Bluetooth and Internet Connectivity. 

Shucheng Yu from University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) in the US said that "There could be some very severe consequences if someone hacked into the car. A car can be fully controlled by the hacker if it is not protected properly". Yu and Zachary King from University of Arkansas at Little Rock created a new security protocol to protect smart cars from hacking.

They also built an experimental environment for research purpose that simulates the communication system found in an ordinary smart car, this environment allows the security protocol to be tested through simulations. The research focuses on the development of a security protocol to protect the Controller Area Network i.e. CAN, an internal communications system installed in most of the vehicles.

The security protocol protects the CAN in two ways. First, it authenticates messages sent through the network by creating a unique authentication code. This authentication code allows nodes on the network to differentiate between a valid message and an attacker's or hacker’s message, researchers said.

The second security feature protects against replay attacks when an attacker attempts to breach the network by sending an old message repeatedly. The protocol uses a real-time stamp to calculate when the network last received the message, which verifies the message's "newness," researchers said.