As cars become smarter and even drive themselves (once we figure out how to make them safe), we are increasingly vulnerable to having our vehicles hacked.
Smart car hacks come in many shapes and sizes, from tracking your vehicle via tire pressure sensors to taking full control of the car and crashing it intentionally.
Today, Cyber 2 Automotive Security (C2a) has announced that its patented Stamper technology — which protects the connected car from cyber threats — is now being made available to auto manufacturers and suppliers worldwide through a royalty-free license.
Founded in 2016, C2a was part of the OurCrowd, Motorola Solutions, and Reliance Industries incubator and it has been endorsed as a cybersecurity company by the Israel Innovation Authority.
The company is offering its technology in response to a recently issued warning from the U.S. Homeland Security Cybersecurity response team, which cautions automobile makers to review new research highlighting significant flaws in vehicle control modules.
How will C2a make money if its Stamper is royalty free? After all, cybersecurity is a continually moving target, and the technology will require constant investment to keep it relevant.
“C2a offers a suite of solutions,” CEO Michael Dick told me. “We have developed a revolutionary safety and security layer for the next generation vehicle. The Stamper is just one component of the solution. It addresses the particular issue that was highlighted by the U.S. Homeland Security Cybersecurity response team. We will make money on the other components of our solution, which ensure long-term ability to support our systems.”
Stamper is designed to protect against all connected car attacks. In 2015, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek remotely hacked a Jeep with apparent ease, and in 2016 hackers took control of a Tesla from 12 miles away.
New hacks are being implemented all the time, with classic cyber attacks making their way to smart cars at an increasing pace.
“It is just a matter of time before hackers will implement a vehicle ransomware hack,” Dick said. “There have already been some successful hacks on cars for theft purposes. The ultimate disaster scenario is a zero-day attack on the transport infrastructure on a national level.”
C2a’s technology provides a safety and security layer for connected vehicles that protects all of the semiconductor chips and processors in the car, of which there can be hundreds. The system operates in many ways like a firewall, providing multi-network anomaly detection, microprocessor protection, and diagnostics over IP infrastructure.
Providing its Stamper technology on a royalty-free basis is part of the company’s mission to help ensure connected cars — and ultimately, self-driving cars — are as safe as is humanly possible.
“This is the challenge that C2a has taken on,” Dick said. “To protect the industry from these types of attacks.”