15 Hackable Points in Next-Gen Automated Vehicles

This is the first in a series of three blogs on trends in next-generation automotive safety and security. To learn more, check out our eBook “The Car of the Future.”

It’s great to be back here on the IoT@Intel blog writing about the opportunities and the challenges of connected and automated vehicle architecture. In the past, I have written about functional safety and security for automated vehicles. One of the conversations that I continue to have is around the hacking of cars. The possible points of entry are many. An Intel Security whitepaper published last year discusses the most hackable areas of modern vehicles. There’s smartphone integration. Keyless entry. Blind spot detection. Every cool new feature in the next-generation car is a double-edged sword that brings with it another potential attack surface and point of connection.

Where digital meets driver, safety is critical. Protecting a vehicle starts with integrating security features during the design and production stages, which is why Intel has already developed some of the most advanced in-vehicle security features on the market. Intel is committed to providing uncompromising security technologies and innovations within the automotive industry aligned to three major areas.


An illustration showing 15 hackable points on a vehicle.

1: Securing In-vehicle Systems

The vehicles of tomorrow may incorporate hundreds of ECUs. This makes assessing the scope of threats an immense job, as just one unprotected attack surface can lead to a serious hack.

The Solution: Intel is working toward greater consolidation, integration, and virtualization of ECUs. But even with consolidation, automotive architectures will continue to grow more complex. That’s why Intel is continuing to invest in artificial intelligence, self-adaptation, and, ultimately, self-healing breakthroughs that will significantly increase the level of security in connected and automated vehicles. A range of specific Intel security technologies are available today that can help protect the vehicle’s systems and data.

  • Secure boot authenticates firmware components during boot.
  • Intel Trusted Execution Engine provides advanced runtime protection at the hardware level.
  • Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O helps isolate and restrict execution environments to hardware-partitioned sandboxes, ensuring key safety tasks are prioritized over other functions without interruption.


An image of vehicles of a freeway representing vehicle-to-vehicle communciation.

2: Cloud and Connectivity

The attack surface of a next-generation vehicle extends beyond the car itself. It can include external Wi-Fi and cellular networks, as well as connected infrastructure, such as toll roads, drive-through windows, and gas stations. In addition to protecting the vehicle and networks, transportation providers must also protect data as it moves through the cloud and to the data center.

The Solution: With expertise in network monitoring and enforcement, Intel is working to improve the authenticity and integrity of data transmitted across networks.


An illustration explaining showing that autonomous vehicles generate 4 terabytes of information per day.

3: Protecting the Data Center

Intel has strong heritage in enterprise security, which is being hardened and integrated into a complete car-to-cloud solution for Intel GO automotive platforms.

The Solution: Intel is optimizing security technologies forged in the data center to support secure automated driving and connected transportation.


Driving a Path Toward Automated Solutions

Automation promises to be one of the most significant safety mechanisms the world has ever built. Fueled by successful collaborations with some of the world’s leading automotive brands, we are committed to helping transportation providers map a path forward through participation in organizations like the Future of Automotive Security Technology Research (FASTR). Together, we’re delivering precompetitive technological building blocks such as whitepapers, reference architectures, code samples, workshops best known methods and other resources that automotive manufactures can use across their supply chains. From car to cloud, we are preparing the industry for the amazing future of transportation and truly automated vehicles.

Learn more about the road ahead for automated vehicles by visiting intel.com/automotive. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

Craig Hurst

About Craig Hurst

Craig Hurst is the Director of Strategic Planning and Product Management within Intel’s Transportation Solutions Division. He is responsible for transportation HW and SW roadmaps, ecosystem strategies, GTM plans and overall platform success across the connected transportation and logistics, software defined cockpit, and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving segments. Craig’s team is responsible for both the long term vision and strategy that maximize market value for safer and smarter driving as well as the near term product management and delivery of products that thrill and excite customers. Craig has held various director roles for strategy, marketing, and product management at Intel in divisions ranging from SW developer products, healthcare devices, and networking. His passion is to inspire innovation for new products, segments, and business models. In his ~20 years at Intel, Craig has helped deliver dozens of new products to market, many winning industry awards (including Intel’s first direct to consumer retail product, the world’s first UPnP certified residential gateway, Intel’s first FDA approved product, and Intel® RealSense™ Technology). When not at work, Craig enjoys fishing, waterskiing, travel, and perfecting a new BBQ or kitchen recipe. Craig holds a BSEE from Seattle University, and Certificate of Business Excellence from U.C. Berkeley.

One Response to 15 Hackable Points in Next-Gen Automated Vehicles

  1. suvo says:

    Great Article! i really appreciate this.You are so awesome! This issue has and still is so important and you have addressed it so Informative