The High-Profile Jeep Cyber Attack That Lead To The Introduction Of Secure Gateway

The High-Profile Jeep Cyber Attack That Lead To The Introduction Of Secure Gateway

The illegal cloning of car keys has featured prominently in the news in recent years. Especially when two so-called ‘white hat’, or ‘ethical’ hackers remotely targeted a moving Jeep in 2015, their actions caused long-term reverberations in the automotive industry.  The Jeep Hack, as it became known, highlighted how security vulnerabilities in the Jeep range, and by extension, consumer vehicles by other manufacturers, could be exploited by criminals with malicious intentions - with potentially serious consequences.

What Was The 2015 Jeep Cyber Attack?

In the 2015 case, the hackers only interfered with the windscreen wipers, temperature controls, and radio before bringing the vehicle to a controlled stop. Needless to say, had they chosen to take control of the steering or braking system, the consequences could have been far more serious.

With approximately 1.4 million cars affected by the security flaw, the stakes were high. The hackers, who had spent years researching security vulnerabilities in different makes and models, carried out their action to highlight the fact that criminals could remotely take control of a moving vehicle. Having previously succeeded in gaining control of Ford and Toyota models via a wired connection, automotive manufacturers were unconcerned: a hack requiring a physical connection would clearly represent little danger to a moving car. That the Jeep was hacked remotely, however, proved to be a gamechanger in the industry.

Responding To Change: The FCA Security Gateway Module

The Jeep Hack was one reason why Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) introduced their Security Gateway Module. However, the hack was only one part of a rapidly evolving landscape in which automation was making strong headway in the car manufacturing industry. Since 2010, onboard wireless technologies, such as automated lane assist and assisted emergency braking, and Wi-Fi-enabled infotainment, have become standard on many models, increasing the possible entry points for an experienced hacker to gain control over a vehicle’s performance.

The Security Gateway Module (SGW) is a firewall which provides moderated access to a vehicle’s network diagnostics. If an attempt is made to communicate with the vehicle, the SGW will ascertain whether the user and access tool are recognised and authorised. In essence, the Security Gateway Module controls access to certain vehicle functions via the diagnostic connector or the in-built infotainment system, delivering an effective way to frustrate would-be cyberattackers in their efforts to gain remote control over a vehicle.

Find Out More

At Advanced Keys, we recognise the importance of effective user control when accessing and starting vehicles, and the potential problems that arise when things go wrong. 

We supply locksmiths and automotive technicians across the UK with high-quality wholesale car keys, fobs, remotes, and transponders, saving time and money without compromising on efficiency.

To find out more about our products, please call us on 0121 749 5210 today.

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