Expert: Comprehensive software security for cars will take years 

Software security for automobiles is improving but it will take another three or four years until manufacturers can put overarching security architecture in place, says Stefan Savage, winner of the 2015 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences.Four mindblowing Ted Talks for techiesTED talks make that possible to do in a single sitting. Here are four talks that in just over an hourREAD NOW“We’re at a point where the industry has to recognize that this is a real issue for them,” says Savage, a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.+ MORE CAR SECURITY: Car hackers urge you to patch your Chrysler, Ram, Durango, or Jeep +What’s needed is the capability to update software routinely in order to patch newly found vulnerabilities, similar to the way Microsoft’s Windows Update works, he says.In addition, a single team needs to oversee all the software that is running on individual components in cars to make sure that they and their interfaces with other devices are secure. “Almost all the vulnerabilities we found were at the interfaces of code written by different parties,” he says.And often software is written using off the shelf code that hasn’t been stripped down to eliminate attack vectors. For example a device in a car that needs Bluetooth support may contain a Linux Bluetooth stack that has more features than necessary that could represent a vulnerability to the cars’ systems overall.Without an overarching review of software, vulnerabilities can leak in with after-market parts. One aftermarket CD player, for example, could be updated with a specially formatted CD that enabled the device to override other software systems in the car. “These kind of issues abound,” he says.Short-term, car makers can improve their patching programs. A bit longer term they can adopt strategies that are common to PC security today but that haven’t necessarily been applied to cars. And longer term, they can produce cars with a whole-vehicle software security scheme, he says.

Source: Expert: Comprehensive software security for cars will take years | Network World

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