Argus, Check Point team up to prevent car hacking

As Wi-Fi-connected vehicles become more common, two Israeli cyber-security firms join forces to ensure the driver stays in control

Argus Cybersecurity founders from right to left: Zohar Zisapel, Chairman; Oron Lavi, VP R&D; Ofer Ben Noon, CEO; Yaron Galula, CTO (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Argus Cybersecurity founders from right to left: Zohar Zisapel, Chairman; Oron Lavi, VP R&D; Ofer Ben Noon, CEO; Yaron Galula, CTO (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Argus Cyber Security, one of the first – and still one of the few –companies in the world to provide solutions for car security, is teaming up with cyber-security giant Check Point to provide security systems for cars, the company announced Wednesday.

“Argus’s mission is to promote car connectivity without compromising on safety, security and privacy,” said Yoni Heilbronn, Vice President of Marketing at Argus Cyber Security. “Partnering with the world’s leading cyber security vendor emphasizes Argus’s commitment to achieving that goal. By bringing together Argus’s innovative in-vehicle intrusion detection and prevention capabilities and Check Point’s unmatched expertise in providing secure connectivity solutions we can now provide a joint offering that answers current and future cyber security needs of the automotive industry.”

Nearly all models offered today by companies like GM, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota offer connection options, and come equipped with Wi-Fi (using 3G and 4G data connections), allowing drivers and passengers to use the Internet in their vehicles to get directions, tune into cloud-based music services, and much more. But connected cars aren’t just convenient for drivers: Many cyber-experts believe they will be the Next Big Thing in hacking, providing hackers with challenges that will give them a whole new venue to conquer.

A good example of how this works was highlighted last July, when white-hat hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek took control of a Chrysler Jeep vehicle being driven at top speed by Wired journalist Andy Greenberg. Miller and Valasek turned the radio on full-blast, ran the air-conditioner, and even took control of the accelerator – scaring Greenberg to the point where he was forced to “drop any semblance of bravery, grab my iPhone with a clammy fist, and beg the hackers to make it stop.”

To fend off such attacks, Argus and Check Point will be offering Argus’s Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS) for in-vehicle cyber security, integrated with Check Point’s Capsule secure connectivity solution. The Argus solution analyzes communication packets (the segments of data) that come into and go out of the vehicle, determining if the packets are associated with the kind of behavior expected (ie, signals from specific IP addresses, commands that make sense given the current activity of the vehicle, etc.). Capsule, meanwhile, creates a secure environment, checking all the devices that the vehicle connects with to ensure that they are safe – whether the vehicle is using a cellphone or on-board Wi-Fi to allow devices, monitors, and sensors to communicate with the Internet.

“Internet-connected telematics and infotainment systems have developed into new areas for cyber attackers,” said Alon Kantor, Vice President of Business Development at Check Point. “Together with Argus, Check Point is extending its industry-leading technology into automotive cyber security, creating a holistic, cloud-based approach to staying ahead of threats in these new business models created by the Internet of Things.”

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