Panasonic develops cybersecurity system for cars connected to the Internet

Panasonic Corp. aims to introduce a security system that it has developed for car manufacturers to prevent cyber attacks in connection with the launch of more vehicles offering various services via the Internet.

The new system will see software installed in cars connected to the Internet to detect anomalies and dedicated teams at Panasonic and automakers will monitor cars around the clock, the Japanese electronics conglomerate said.

At the end of October, Panasonic presented an example of a cyberattack and how it is detected in a fictitious surveillance center in Tokyo. After a demo car in Osaka was hit by an experimental ranged attack, the car’s steering wheel quickly turned 180 degrees and a warning beep sounded in Tokyo.

An official from Panasonic Corp. talks about the company’s security system to monitor cyberattacks against internet-connected cars at a fictitious surveillance center in Tokyo on October 22, 2021. (Kyodo)

“If the computerized control is taken over while driving, it leads to fatal accidents. In practice, anomalies must be detected much earlier,” said a company official, adding that the company system is able to do just that.

The teams are expected to cooperate in gathering information and overhauling the automotive system. The installed software can be updated remotely when needed to prevent an attack from the outside, Panasonic said.

The monitoring center will be able to manage cars in Japan and abroad in a unified manner, the company said.

According to research firm Fuji Keizai Group Co., the number of cars connected to the Internet is expected to increase steadily to represent 80% of all passenger cars sold globally in 2035, up from 34% in 2019.

The Japanese government is also stepping up measures against cyber attacks. Cars equipped with wirelessly updatable driving control systems that will be sold from July next year must undergo a check by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

The evaluation criteria include whether automakers have secured a system to manage cybersecurity and provide software updates accordingly, the ministry said.

The Panasonic official said the company would work with IT companies and “make this system an industry standard.”


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