Out of Control? Securing Driverless Cars and Taxis Won’t Be an Easy Problem to Fix

Many of us are looking forward to the Age of Autonomous Driving, but there’s a new roadblock on our highway to the future. According to Charlie Miller, one of the two guys who remotely hacked into a Jeep Cherokee last year, securing driverless cars and taxis will not be an easy problem to solve.

After the Jeep exploit, Miller and his hacking partner, Chris Valasek, spent some time working with Uber, advising the company on how to safeguard autonomous vehicles from hackers. Miller is now working for Didi, a Chinese startup that’s pioneering driverless ridesharing technology.

In a recent interview, Miller acknowledges that securing autonomous cars from hackers will be a difficult challenge.

“A driverless car that’s used as a taxi, Miller points out, poses even more potential problems. In that situation, every passenger has to be considered a potential threat. Security researchers have shown that merely plugging an internet-connected gadget into a car’s OBD2 port—a ubiquitous outlet under its dashboard—can offer a remote attacker an entry point into the vehicle’s most sensitive systems,” writes Andy Greenberg in Wired.

In Japan, Automakers Developing Robots to Help the Elderly

Japanese automakers are hoping to use their expertise in automation and robotics to provide products and services that will help the country’s rapidly expanding population of senior citizens.

“Toyota Motor Corp said it saw the possibility of becoming a mass producer of robots to help the elderly in a country whose population is aging faster than the rest of the world as the birthrate decreases,” writes Naomi Tajitsu in a Reuters dispatch published in Scientific American.

Keep your eye on this trend, since it will only be a matter of time before U.S. carmakers have similar ideas. Like Japan, the U.S. population is aging, although not as quickly. It will be interesting to see how U.S. manufacturers respond to the need for robotic helpers designed to assist a growing population of elderly people.

Microsoft Drops Security Bulletins, Replaces Them With Online Guide to Updates

Microsoft has apparently retired its “verbose security bulletins,” replacing them with its Security Update Guide.

“The Security Update Guide replaces the security bulletins that Microsoft had used since 1998,” writes Dan Cagen in TechTarget.

According to Microsoft, the new format follows the ICASI Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework, which is the industry standard.