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19 June 2019

AVs could be ‘terrorist threat’, says security firm Advent IM

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

Terrorists who have hijacked vans and trucks to drive into crowds – causing death and injury to pedestrians – could use autonomous vehicles (AVs) to achieve a similar result with no risk to themselves.

That was the warning from Mike Gillespie, MD of security firm Advent IM. Speaking this week at the IFSEC International 2019 security conference in London, he said: “Imagine that you don’t have to get in the vehicle, you don’t have to be in the same city – or even the same country.”

They would still be able to cause the ‘same mayhem’, he suggested, adding that automakers have not addressed the issue sufficiently. “The car manufacturing community is very much behind the curve in cybersecurity,” he said. Car manufacturers themselves would dispute his assessment.

While warning that driverless cars were ‘potential weapons’, Gillespie conceded that there are “huge potential benefits of AVs”.

He also suggested that advances in artificial intelligence such as facial recognition could be used to ensure only recognised drivers were able to drive conventional vehicles, thus reducing the risk of theft.

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