Innovation

Black Hat 2018: Connecting cars to enhance the way we drive

Thomas Mackenzie, associate partner at X-Force Red at IBM, talks about the importance of connecting communication technologies between vehicles at Black Hat 2018.

Thomas Mackenzie, associate partner at X-Force Red at IBM, talks to TechRepublic's Dan Patterson about the importance of connecting communication technologies between vehicles at Black Hat 2018. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Thomas Mackenzie: So in the connected car world, you have a number of technologies that are used to allow communication between different parts of the vehicle infrastructure, so you have what's known as V-to-V, so vehicle-to-vehicle. You have V-to-I, vehicle-to-infrastructure. So, a kind-of smart trafficking systems etc., and you also have V-to-X, which is vehicle-to-anything. Maybe some other IoT infrastructure or something like this.

So, the whole point of these technologies, especially as we move into this automated transport, this autonomous vehicle world, is that the vehicles can utilize not just information from themselves, but information from other sources. So from other vehicles if they're further down the road, or from the traffic much further down the road. Miles if not hundreds of miles down the road.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of autonomous vehicles (Tech Pro Research)

And the idea here is that we can then utilize this information to plan things better along our journey.

The whole point of these systems is that they're connected to everything. They're connected to every single traffic light. It's connected to every single traffic light in that grid. On a highway or a motorway, the idea is that these are all connected to each other so that all of the information can be brought back into a data lake and understood better.

So, the whole point from an attacker's point of view, is that if you're able to attack one of these things, you're on the backbone. You're able to then attack the rest of them. You're able to gain access to traffic information from 100 miles away, but then possibly turn off lights, turn lights on, and cause accidents, and ultimately, possibly loss of life.

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About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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