Risk analysis for forecasting cyberattacks against connected and autonomous vehicles

The proliferation of connected and autonomous vehicles provides new opportunities for crime. Predicting crime is one of the enduring challenges for the security community. Connected and autonomous vehicles present a particular challenge for society, because it will be possible for remote attackers to hack into them, or for such vehicles to be used driverless to commit crimes, in effect anonymizing the offender.

A security risk analysis was conducted to identify possible cyberattacks against a future transport system consisting of autonomous and connected vehicles. Six scenarios were developed: joyriding, kidnapping, domestic abuse, autopilot manipulation, a large transport accident, and paralysis of the transport system. Even if it were possible to increase the difficulty of conducting such cyberattacks, it might be impossible to eliminate such attacks entirely. Measures that limit the consequences will therefore be necessary. Such measures include safety measures in vehicles to protect their occupants in traffic accidents and measures that make vehicles easier to remove in case they do not function.

This study was funded by the EU-funded (Horizon 2020) project LEVITATE. Open access funding was provided by our project partner Institute Of Transport Economics.

Read our Open Access publication ‘Risk analysis for forecasting cyberattacks against connected and autonomous vehicles‘ in the Journal of Transportation Security (November 2021), written by Sunniva F. Meyer, Rune Elvik & Espen Johnsson.