Category: Bug Bounty (Page 1 of 2)

Confronting reality is the duty of every IT security professional

Interview of Stéphane Bourou | Technical Project Manager at Ercom

For 30 years, Ercom has developed a leadership position in the communications, data and terminal security markets.
This position is based on complementary technological expertise in Telco/cloud infrastructure, cryptography and software and on shared values: innovation, expertise, commitment and confidentiality.

Our products and expertise are recognized in France and internationally by major companies, customers, partners and certification entities.

All our solutions are certified or in the process of certification by ANSSI.

Two examples that illustrate Ercom’s expertise:

  • Ercom equipped the Presidential aircraft with a secure telephone in 2002, thus offering the first highly secure mobile communication solution.
  • Ercom’s Cryptosmart (secure communications and mobile terminals) is the first ANSSI-certified solution to be restricted for distribution to consumer terminals, facilitating users to adopt it.

Our offer is based on three products : CryptoPass, CryptoSmart and CryptoBox.

What did you learn from the private phase of your bug bounty program?
The Bug Bounty in general complements the ANSSI certifications to which we submit each of our security solutions.
Our primary goal was to confront our CryptoBox solution with a relevant range of attackers who we might encounter during its use, in order to have a continuous evaluation of the level of resistance of our solution.

Several bug reports were provided to us and one in particular proved out to be a significant level. This enabled us to improve our product and demonstrate the thoroughness of our development teams about security.

Why going public is a good move ?
Private mode limits the number of bug bounty hunters therefore, it does not really confront us with what we would definitely encounter during an operational deployment. By Going Public, we expect to have Bug Bounty Hunters with more focused, varied and specialized skills on specific surfaces, such as web and smart-phone applications. Through this important and true exercise, we will be able to increase the level of assurance obtained during the private phase.

What would be your arguments for convincing reluctant organizations to cross the threshold ?
It’s always good to face reality, and this is especially important for a security solution. We are making the effort to use the Bug Bounty with the dual objective of improving our solution and having greater visibility and credibility. A Bug Bounty program makes it possible to mobilize a large number of IT security researchers for a limited period of time in an economical and repetitive way.
Our experience being very positive, we will soon open a second program for our new product : CryptoPass.


Join the hunt on BountyFactory.io !


 

Qwant.com & BountyFactory.io to harden companies’ systems

Qwant.com‘s Security & Privacy Fund is now real and it aims at hardening companies’ systems through our BountyFactory.io !

Qwant has always believed that the development of online services should be done with maximum protection of the confidentiality of users personal data. That is why Qwant took a “privacy by design” and a “data minimization” approach from day one, which requires to think preventively of the technical means and business models that generate as little risks as possible for the privacy of users.

Since 2014, thanks to YesWeHack founders, Qwant has created its bug bounty program.

Each year Qwant offers bounties to the vulnerabilities hunters gathered at La Nuit du Hack, in Paris. Those programs run by HackerzVoice & YesWeHack teams have significantly helped Qwant to build up skills, and to even better protect their users personal data.

And for the 15th edition of La Nuit du Hack, Qwant wants to offer other startups and organizations – thanks to its fund – the opportunity to challenge and increase the security of their services with the best hackers in Europe and in the world, to improve privacy on the Internet.

Qwant grants 10,000 euros to this fund, that will allow to pay bounties to hackers who will discover vulnerabilities on the services of startups or associations that share Qwant’s ethical values.

Organizations that are selected to benefit from this fund will of course be accompanied to put the bug bounty program together.

You can find all the necessary details to apply for this Privacy & Security Fund at the operation’s official website: https://hackmeimfamous.com/

Shall We Play A Game ? Yes We Shall ⠵

Yes We Hack is proud to be platinium Sponsor for the 15th “la Nuit du Hack” next June 24 & 25 \o/

The forthcoming Nuit Du Hack is about to gather more than 2000 people from all over Europe !

Check the schedule !

☠ ☠ ☠

A bit of History :

Originally, la Nuit du Hack was created by Paulo Pinto aKa CrashFR.

“La Nuit Du Hack” is one of the oldest French underground hackers’ event which bring together, professionals and amateurs of any skill level, around lectures and challenges.

At the very beginning of la Nuit du Hack in 2003, the budget was lower than 1 k€.

Started with 20 persons, the event never stopped growing up by gathering more and more people from amateurs to professionals.

Now, it has reached 170 k€ thanks to the HackerzVoice Team, Géraldine and almost 100 volunteers 🙂

Since the very beginning in 2003, YesWeHack founders have been working tightly with Hackerzvoice for organizing La Nuit du Hack.

In 2011, it saw several international renowned speakers and gripped more than 950 guests including more than 50 challengers. During this edition we had the privilege to host world-famous speakers.

In 2014, Qwant.com organized its first bug bounty in the framework of la NDH. At that time, a prototype of BountyFactory.io was used to manage bug bounty programmes.

At that period of time the founders of YesWeHack were part of the Jury 🙂 please appreciate the picture below !

For that 2014 and 2015 editions, the rewards were, let’s say, exotic : Real Bounty Chocolate Bars and actually reward checks were signed on stage by Guillaume Vassault-Houlière aka Free_Man (President of HackerzVoice & YesWeHack CEO).

Each year, a common pot is set up to pay the bounties and if there is any money left then it is donated to the association HackerzVoice.

2015 was the year of Skyrock, Denyall, Qwant underwent all together bug bounty programmes .

2016 was a landmark for YesWeHack for it was the first time la NDH Bug Bounty programmes were handled by an official version of BountyFactory.io !

On that occasion, fees were disabled especially for the event and the dedicated bug bounty programmes namely the ones of Qwant.com / OVH.com / Orange / Protektoid were physically restricted to NDH attendees located in Disney’s scope and as usual managed by HackerzVoice . Meanwhile, the Jury was strengthened by recruiting a new member : Mr. Skunk !

2017 is a special edition of la NDH and as platinium sponsor, YesWeHack Team is willing to make things bigger for the sake of game and fun !

On the occasion of the 15th edition of la Nuit Du Hack, There will be about 10 bug bounty programmes restricted to ‘la Nuit du Hack’ attendees.

Only attendees inside DisneyLand will be allowed to play. Don’t forget to register on BountyFactory.io

Stay Tuned !

For duplicates, we planned everything if you wanna cry :P

For duplicates, we planned everything if you wanna cry 😛

 ☠ ☠ ☠

YesWeHack also provides a dedicated HackDating Zone for recruiters to spot talents during la Nuit du Hack !

Recruiting entities are :

  • Ministère de la Défense (France)
  • Orange Cyberdefence
  • Synaktiv
  • Sysdream
  • Sogeti
  • Outscale
  • Digital Security
  • Vade Secure
  • ANSSI
  • OVH
  • Qwant
  • Airbus
  • DoctoLib

So, post your CV on Jobs.YesWeHack.com !

 ☠ ☠ ☠

La Nuit du Hack is a unique event where curious people have fun, no matter their skills are !

HackerzVoice Will Never Die !

☠ ☠ ☠

YesWeHack is now member of FNTC’s business incubator

YesWeHack is now an official member of FNTC (The Federation of the Digital Trusted Third Parties) ‘s business incubator.

We, YesWeHack, were used to mentioning during our conferences the real need for building trust for our Bug bounty platform namely Bountyfactory and this membership is a milestone for our company.

The FNTC Board met in December to validate our application to its business incubator.

Thanks to the FNTC Board for having accepted us in its business incubator.

FNTC has a three-pronged mission :

  • Promote techniques and methods for guaranteeing trust in digital technology and foster knowledge of best practices.
  • Build trust in the digital technology of tomorrow.
  • Assist public institutions.

We hope to be able to contribute to all projects within FNTC’s business incubator by putting our expertise and our vision in terms of computer security at the service of new and future actors.

Edouard Camoin, CISO of Outscale.com, on the bug bounty switching process from private to public status

https://twitter.com/skelkey

Edouard Camoin, CISO of Outscale.

– What’s your role as CISO within Outscale?

First of all, Outscale deals with IaaS : like AWS we provide API and we have Branch offices in France, USA and China. Each Branch office is subject to a specific digital sovereignty.

I’ve been wearing two hats : Guarantor of the internal security and guarantor of the security for the customers.
Globally speaking the human resources are at the core of my job.

– What was the need assessment that led to the opening of a bug bounty program?

We provide cloud computing services with certification 27001.

Regularly, we order pentesting sessions led by IT security companies. The results are pretty good but that did not satisfy us enough and we wanted to go deeper to better secure our products.

We made up our mind to expanse our culture in terms of security. Clearly, bug bounty is another approach because the payment is bound to the result, only the result counts, and bug bounty is not limited in time.

– Why did you opt for BountyFactory and more precisely, what criteria convinced you compared to other US and European platforms?

We needed a platform based in France and so in Europe strictly because it was a strong demand on the behalf of our management because we are very sharp on the sovereignty of the data.

So de facto, the US platforms have been disqualified.

BountyFactory offers much better responsiveness with the integration of features within the platform and the process of creating the program is clear. We were seduced and convinced by the high quality of the responsiveness and relevance of the YesWeHack team.

– Did you ask for assistance in setting up your program?

BountyFactory provides a real and efficient support and follow-up.

As a matter of fact, we managed to publish our program in just a single day!

I was sent an example of a program and in no time I was able to finalize, define our scope properly. Last step was the adjusting of the overall amount for the rewards.

– For the private step how many hunters did you select?

From the hall of fame, I just selected the hunters that I knew of reputation (5 or 8) and completed with some of the yeswehack private team.

– During the private program what did you notice in terms of reporting of vulnerabilities?

Indeed, we had two private programs.
One focused on our IaaS and Api and the other one focused on our web application .

As for our Web interface : we’ve got 10 reported bugs in one month, and 5 were validated. Only 3 of them were critical.
Concerning our API : nothing critical so far .

– Have you enjoyed the quality of communication between you and the hunters via the Bountyfactory platform? What improvement would you need?

The ticketing system via email is ok beyond that, we often discuss with hunters via twitter and more generally via the famous IRC so it would be a good idea to have a secure and built-in Instant messaging feature.
The hunters are very correct, they ask before attacking. The level of discussion and consultation is really good, prevention upstream before testing the perimeter because the platform was in production. They are careful and responsible, they want to have the customer’s approval before trying various methods.

– Why did you decide to go public?

First beginning by a Private program was highly needed for we had no experience in managing a bug bounty program.
The private step has a clear advantage : a private bug bounty is like a pentest without time limit.
Going Public will allow us to test in real conditions our IaaS + Api.
This first pass throughout the private mode is important to lucidly approach the switching from private to public status.
Now we are glad to announce : Everyone can play !

The real attacker does not care about standards so only Bug Bounty can simulate this brutal truth !

– In short, are you satisfied with your choice?

Bug Bounty is really appreciated in communities, we wanted to set an example, in our humble opinion, the pentesting will have to question itself. The Hunter is involved in bug bounty to find. Unfortunately, no normative aspects (PASSI) look at the benefits and we can confirm that the real attacker does not care about standards so only bug bounty can simulate this brutal truth !
With our customers, we will promote this exercise widely via twitter, and moreover our security approach via bug bounty will be explained to our partners and customers in the forthcoming appointments.

***

The Hunt is ON !

Outscale Bug Bounty Program

***

Xavier Leune, CCM Benchmark Group, on the benefits of bug bounty

Xavier Leune - CCM Benchmarck group -

Xavier Leune – CCM Benchmarck group –

What is your role in CCM benchmark ?
I am deputy CTO and i’m in charge of technical monitoring with Damien Mangin, CTO of CCM Benchmark Group.

What were the reflexion and the needs assesment that brought about a bug bounty program ?
Like any other actor on the Internet, we are experiencing increasing threats like hacking tries or malware targeting our platforms. As we are the first French leaders media company (according to Comscore), we are particularly exposed to cyber threats. Therefore, we are meant to have a proactive approach in terms of security in order to protect our users’ data.
The bug bounty Program we opened was a very important step complementary of others methods we set up (pentests, trainings). In terms of security by design, this exercise is really useful for our devs because thanks to the bug reporting they can improve the degree of security of their own code.

Why did you guys choose Bounty Factory : What made the difference compared to other bug bounty platforms ?
We paid attention to several criteria provided by Bountyfactory.io. First advantage was the fact that it is based in France and it strongly facilitated the set up because we had a good feeling throughout the discussion with YesWehack teams. They did prove their capacity in mobilizing some high-level hunters for a program such as ours. Eventually, The European approach and the way the rewards are run were both arguments that can assure us to fight against the financing of terrorism.

Did you ask for an help for setting up of your program (in terms of scope, timing, invitations) ?
Since the launching of our bug bounty program on the 28th of September, we’ve been helped by Bounty Factory dedicated Team from the very beginning and on the regular basis. We did profit from their experiences in order to better write up our program and better define our scope so that hunter were precisely informed of our expectations. Moreover, we have been accompanied to define our rewarding policy to treat properly the feedback given by hunters who are spending long time for securing our platforms.
Last but not least, we benefited from Bounty Factory dedicated team in order to select and send invitations to high-ranked hunters.

How many hunters did you invite for the private step ?
For the private step we have invited the whole YesWehack private team made of 10 people.

During the private time, what did you notice out in terms of reported vulnerabilities ?
Obviously at the very beginning of the program simple and common vulnerabilities were reported, especially XSS vulnerabilities. As time went by, more sophisticated vulnerabilities appeared , we were really surprised by some findings. We have felt a very good implication on the behalf of each hunter who was driven by their appetite for being the first reporting a critical vulnerability.
The features : 58 reported bugs, 34 were subject to corrective measures. Others were mainly duplicates 18 out of 24.
The number of critical vulnerabilities were up to 5.
The best reward  for one and only bug was up to 1000 €.

Did you appreciate the level of communication between you and the hunters ?
The level of communication with the hunters was really appreciated by our team. At times, we experienced some difficulties concerning some vulnerabilities in reproducing them or understanding the prejudice they implied. So the hunters were really good at answering our questions and at double-checking the patches we delivered.

Why did you choose to go public ?
To us, going public is a natural evolution of our bug bounty program. We wanted to be able to understand correctly the art of running a bug bounty through Bountyfactory.io especially by dealing with a restricted number of reported bugs in a first movement and along with hunters whom we wanted to communicate with. Now, we are far more confident in terms of procedures and in terms of patching policy, so it makes sense going public and being exposed to a max of skills to keep on securing our platform .

In terms of profits, can you say that beyond the financial aspect there are issues of communication and reputation ? How would CCM deal with these aspects ?
It is important for us to show a proactive approach on such crucial issues. However, it is not planned at the moment to promote the opening of our bounty bug program towards our audience. Above all, we decided to go public for ourselves and our visitors.

***

So, Hunters 

Hack and take the cash

via BountyFactory

***

Portrait of a hunter : Ylujion

ylujionYesWeHack is glad to introduce you to its best hunters performing on BountyFactory.io

This week, it’s @Ylujion‘s turn, Check his portrait below !

***

  1. How old are you  ?
    I’m 32
  1. Where does your nickname come from ?
    The reason why i’ve chosen Ylujion as nickname is really simple : i wanted to invent a genuine nickname that does not exist on the Internet to see how it will propagate through search engines as i started posting on twitter and co. Generally speaking, i am told that my nickname is shitty 🙂 and i do agree somehow ! … Apart from that, the correct way of pronouncing “Ylujion” is like the way you pronounce the English word “illusion”. This kind of phonetic trick amuses me 🙂
  1. How long have you been hunting ?
    I have been hunting for more than one year.
  1. How did you discover bug bounty hunting ?
    Thanks to a friend who told me to test different bug bounty platforms.
  1. When do you spend most of your time hunting bugs ?
    Mainly during the night and the week-end, sometimes at lunch break when i am at work.
  1. As a Bug Bounty hunter, What are you driven by ?
    What i do appreciate in Bug Bounty is the diversity of scopes and technologies. It enables you to test up-to-date technologies by the prism of information security. Above all, there is a sort of freedom of action, you can go hunting whenever you want, from wherever you are, without being under pressure. Last but not least, you can earn money if you get good results.
    I often do recommend beginners interested by pentesting to dive into bug bounty platforms as a training discipline. It enables you to increase your skills in information security with real targets but within a full legal framework !
  1. Can you tell us one funny story about Bug Bounty Hunting ? (epic win and/or fail)
    I had spent more than 20 hours on exploiting one vulnerability in the scope of a rather famous startup’s program. Thanks to this vulnerability, i gained access to almost the entire information system so i decided to submit a report. Meanwhile, i was excited in terms of reward : usually this kind of vulnerability can be rewarded between 1,000$ & 10,000$ !
    Eventually, i won a  t-shirt ^^
    Driven by excitement and performance, i forgot the program clearly mentioned there was no reward but only gifts 🙂 too bad !
  1. What’s the best reward for one vulnerability you got thanks to Bounty Factory ?
      5 000 € (Ed.

Ylujion’s total rewards for December reached 15 000 €

    !)
  1. To you, What are the benefits of  Bug Bounty compared to pentesting?
    For a company, a bug bounty program enables you to test without time restriction moreover your system will be tested by various and numerous hunters. The company can also define the different level of reward and thus know the required budget to have a successful bug bounty program. Beyond that, it does not replace a traditional and classical pentest.
  1. What’s your favorite language ?
    Python
  1. What’s your favorite OS  ?
    Arch Linux but i guess there is no relation between this OS and bug hunting
  1. Beyond bugbounty, what are your hobbies ?
    I am really good at drinking, eating and sleeping of course 🙂

***

follow @Ylujion on twitter !

&

Come on and play on BountyFactory.io

YesWeHack winner of the Jury’s Favorite Prize #FIC2017

https://www.forum-fic.com/site/GB,C59984,I59984.htm?KM_Session=15efbfef1e084b087bdc5a5e39919cdb

YesWeHack Team is honored to have received the #FIC2017 Jury’s Favorite Prize

This Jury’s Favorite Prize proves that our products meet the challenges of today: the hiring of talents and the need for agile security. This award will allow us to strengthen our leadership in France and above all to boost us to conquer the Euro zone, that is our priority for 2017 !

Guillaume Vassault-Houlière, Yeswehack CEO

brad_pit

Congratulations to the winners :

  • Prove & Run
  • GateWatcher 

img_2044

We do thank all members of the Jury

  • François Lavaste, Président CyberSecurity, Airbus Defence and Space
  • Alain Bouillé, RSSI, Caisse des Dépôts et Président du CESIN (Club des experts de la sécurité de l’information et du numérique)
  • Gilles Daguet, General Partner, ACE Management
  • Thierry Delville, Inspecteur général de la Police nationale, Délégation ministérielle aux industries de sécurité
  • Laurent Dumas Crouzillac, Associé, CapHorn Invest
  • Thomas Fillaud, Chef de bureau, Politique industrielle et Assistance (PSS), ANSSI
  • Philippe Gaillard, Associé, CyberD Capital
  • Joseph Graceffa, R&D-SSI, CLUSIR Nord de France
  • Jacques Hébrard, Commandant, Région gendarmerie Hauts de France
  • Geoffroy Hermann, Chef du bureau Réseaux & Sécurité, DGE
  • Jacques-Benoît Le Bris, DSI, Solvay
  • Olivier Ligneul, RSSI, Groupe EDF
  • Thierry Olivier, RSSI, Société Générale
  • Frédéric Valette, Responsable du pôle SSI, Direction générale de l’armement, Ministère de la Défense
  • Yves Veret, Senior Advisor Sécurité Numérique & Technologie de l’information CALAO Finance

***

For those who do not know the FIC aka International Cybersecurity Forum (Hosted in Lille – France)

The International Cybersecurity Forum is a platform aiming at promoting a pan-european vision of cybersecurity as well as to strengthen the fight against cybercrime.

In order to do so, the FIC relies on :

• The trade show, to share knowledge and ideas, recruit new employees and maintain contacts
• The forum, to discuss and debate with experts, to gather ideas and to share professional lessons
• The Observatory, to continue exchanging views and information after the FIC, to explore topics in greater depth and to consolidate our network of experts and like minded throughout the year

***

See you soon #FIC2017 !

fic2017_ban_horizontal

 

Bountyfactory.io : What about the legal features ?

Load European Cybersecurity

Bountyfactory.io – the first European Bug Bounty platform – was launched in early 2016.

Unlike some other platforms, Bountyfactory.io presents some specific and legal features that are designed to strengthen its relevance, security and legitimacy.

Above all, Bountyfactory.io focuses on security and legal framework :

Our Servers are based in Europe. Therefore, No data exposure to the US services via FISA, Patriot Act, Freedom Act.

  • BountyFactory uses OVH dedicated cloud that is subject to Service Organization Controls namely SOC 1 type II (SSAE 16 et ISAE 3402) & SOC 2 type II
  • Our infrastructure is ISO 27001 certified
  • Each vulnerability, each report, each comment is encrypted before being stored in our database and only identified actors are access granted.
  • In terms of financial transactions : BountyFactory complies with the following norm > The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • In terms of Privacy, BountyFactory is subject to EU Data Protection Reform (January 2012) While the Regulation will enter into force on 24 May 2016, it shall apply from 25 May 2018. The Directive enters into force on 5 May 2016 and EU Member States have to transpose it into their national law by 6 May 2018.
  • Our payment system, MangoPay, is tightly compliant to EU legal framework in terms of anti Money laundering and anti financing terrorism

mangopay_european_legal_framework

***

Beyond that essential standards, let’s go deeper into BountyFactory.io in order to discover some useful and relevant features :

As a customer – once logged in as Admin-manager – you will be able to digitally sign the General Terms & Conditions of Use thanks to YouSign Company based in France and subject to both French and European Law.

The GTU signing process

Send Bug Bounty Confirmation Code

Validation of the signing Process

signing process

Still as a customer, you are free to Credit and Refund your account any time you need.

Bug Bounty Credit and Refund

By default, your bug bounty program will be private so you can select the hunters (max 50 people) you want to invite.

For instance, you can choose BountyFactory core Team made of 10 people.

Yes We Hack Bug Bounty Private Team

And let the game begin !

The chosen hunters will start searching for vulnerabilities within the scope you defined with BountyFactory Manager.

Bug Bounty Program Management is a differentiating criterion and this feature will be the topic of the a forthcoming and dedicated post.

In order to win efficiency and time : only confirmed true vulnerabilities are taken into account.

Therefore, you will see the amount of bugs found in your dashboard . Each Bug is categorized according to OWASP criteria.

The screenshot below shows more details about the gamification feature focusing on the quality of reports submitted by Bug Bounty Hunters.

The admin-manager is able to rate and allocate one or several points to a well written report on one vulnerability .

Validation of the Vulnerability Report

Over Communicate

Comments are very useful to discuss some details with the researcher and it strengthens significantly the level of communication between the requester and the hunters.

Comments of the Vulnerability Report

One important step is the following : The way you will be able to reward a good hunter.

Thanks to MangoPay technology and security, one hunter can be paid by credit card or through your wallet. MangoPay is a service provided by the French Bank > Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Rewarding Bug Bounty Hunter

The Dashboard gives you an overview of bug types and statuses

Dashboard

types_of_bug_bounty

As a Game Master : manage your Budget, your Timing, your Hunters

For instance, the screenshot shows you can keep an eye on your budget by checking statistics of the ongoing bug hunting (average and max rewards out of your total budget)

budget_average_reward_bug_bounty

Any time, you can choose to switch from a private program to a public program.

Switching from Private to Public Status

This step is specifically critical so BountyFactory Manager will be notified.

In order to avoid failure, YesWeHack Program manager will double check with the requester if it is a legitimate move.

To sum up, BountyFactory.io provides original features that will help customers managing their Bug Bounty Programs with all the specs, layers of security and trustworthy norms.

rihannaRegister and open your own bug bounty program !

***

/!\ Keep in mind /!\

We Have More Features to Show You

We will keep You posted folks !


Read More > Our FAQ

The Internet of Elevators, of Cars, of Weapons !

lift

Have you ever watched The Lift ? A Dutch horror movie by director Dick Maas about an intelligent ( or smart ?) and murderous elevator starting a killing spree. (Source : wikipedia)

Scary, isn’t it ?

Beyond fiction, the film “The Lift” aimed at questioning technology, systems you can not regain control over.

Nowadays, we are told about the benefits of design thinking, internet of things and their tremendous power in terms of digital and economic development… Oh wait.

Unfortunately, the Internet of Things is driven by marketing ravenous hyenas and very few IoT companies are inspired by – what we could call – the Security Design Thinking.

nebula_of-things

Today, within the Internet of Things, Auto Industry has to struggle to prevent itself from being hacked both by criminals and by their inner blind appetite for market at the expense of their duty in the field of security.

Imagine the antithesis of the legendary film “Rebel without a cause” where the hero no longer rides a car as a symbol of freedom but he’s the prisoner of a runaway wagon.

The revelations concerning the recent fraud on the behalf of  Volkswagen – by the way VW is not an isolated case – highlighted what is at stake in terms of security in the fabulous world of the Internet of Cars.

Before reaching the point of no return, Cars companies and end users should deeply consider the following thoughts :

  • Cars like drones and planes are not harmless devices

In terms of security and safety, Auto and aeronautics industries have to be exemplary and they constantly have to improve again and again their technology, their protocol. Unlike many devices of the Internet of things, cars and planes are massive vehicles. They can cause real and serious damages when they are out of control. They unfortunately can be used as weapons. Therefore, smart and connected cars could be potential massive killing machines.

  • Millions of cars as One Botnet

Like any device of the Internet of things, a car can be pirated and subject to a botnet. In this case, a huge number of cars can be orchestrated as one  and only system driven by just one freak, Remember Skynet ! Needless to say that a terrorist attack could be coordinated via this kind of botnet.

  • Top priority : Privacy and Security By Design

IoT companies seem far from tackling the highly critical issue : How to secure the entire chain of their business including their precious customers (known as end users), their reputation, their data.

The Internet of Cars could be, somehow, a strong ally for security (reducing car accidents) and environmental issues (reducing the CO² emissions footprint) but Automakers don’t seem to prioritize acutely despite some attempts like the Automotive Cybersecurity Best Practices.

Auto industry has to embrace privacy and security by design, they must think and implement these concepts before moving on to the unbridled production of hackable products.

Examples of compromised connected cars are legions such as Tesla, Range Rover etc.

To address these concerns and data compliance issues, car manufacturers need to address privacy and security issues and legislative requirements at the design stage – and not as an afterthought – and, in the EU at least, will need to develop technological solutions to empower individuals to track and manage their own data.
Privacy by design – essential for the growth of the Internet of Things? by Taylor Wessing

  • The vital need for an offline button.

In case of emergency, every single connected car should be provided with a kill-switch feature meaning at any time one could switch a smart car from a full connected mode to a full manual and off-line mode including the old-school and reliable steering wheel.

  • Fighting the diktat of Obsolescence

Tackling the issue of Obsolescence is highly relevant especially when the world is facing the global climate change. Beyond security, Car Manufacturers have to improve the reputation of their products and thus adapt their marketing policy by promoting the sustainable quality of their vehicles.

  • The fallacious comfort of voice controlling, key-less and wireless features

Internet of Things is a constellation of connected devices, it requires user-friendly innovation to  improve its appropriation by speaking human beings. It turns out to be clear that voice controlling, key-less and wireless features are to be core parts of IoT UX namely User experience.

That Generalization of wireless and key-less features is a real curse for it is exposing more and more IoT and therefore smart cars to encryption_is_not_a_crimecriminals. There are numerous testimonies asserting that thieves use cloning electronic tools to illegally open and drive cars. Those kind of tools can -easily- capture and reproduce voice spectrum, wireless signal and so on and so forth. Therefore, Encryption and physical tokens are still good layers of security for Multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Indeed, it has been said that multi-factor authentication is the worst form of security except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. – The Churchill Way of IT security 🙂

  • Security is a continuous process

First, Security through obscurity is no cure because it hides potential and critical bugs.

Definitely, Car Industry should strengthen its proof of concept by testing continuously the robustness of their technology. Open Source code enables companies to improve their protocol.

By Open Sourcing and submitting the code to communities (IT security Experts, hackers, FLOSS developers) AutoMakers will increase significantly the degree of their products’ security,  especially thanks to bug bounty programs.

There was a landmark : for the first time in the history of automotive, Fiat-Chrysler did invite hackers to test their cars in the framework of bug bounty programs with clear boundaries made of legal, financial norms such as BountyFactory.io

To sum up, Car industry has to find its Way within the IT security experience by questioning itself  and applying the OODA loop scheme.

the Way is not an end but a process, a journey… The connections, the insights that flow from examining the world in different ways, from different perspectives, from routinely examining the opposite proposition, were what were important. The key is mental agility.
– John Boyd

ooda-loop-1-1(Source : The Tao of Boyd: How to Master the OODA Loop )

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