Work experience week - car hacking challenge

As part of Silverstone University Technical College (UTC) Work Experience Week, 12 students applied their knowledge of coding and cyber-security to hack a car, under the tuition of Ian Tabor, MASS Senior Cyber Security Systems Consultant.

We challenged the Silverstone UTC students to see what they could learn about vulnerabilities of a vehicle’s security system. The students quickly learned that they could identify signals sent over the car’s network, then replicate those signals to control the car.  For example, they could control the speedometer reading, turn on the lights, sound the horn and get the wipers going.  With some hardware that they created, they even managed to work out how to unlock the vehicle via their laptops.

Naturally, this gave rise to discussion about the importance the cyber-security of vehicles, particularly as cars become more autonomous.

Jack Stark, CIO at MASS said, “I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the end of week presentations, listening to the students present with such enthusiasm and interest makes the effort everyone puts into these engagements worthwhile.  Speaking to some of the students afterwards, I was encouraged by their eagerness to understand more about the industry and explore opportunities to start their careers.  The students did a brilliant job on this challenge, and I’d be delighted if any of the students were considering MASS for their future career.”

Neil Patterson, Principal of the UTC said, “It’s been wonderful to see our students develop over the week as they’ve learned more about what they can actually do.  One student said they felt less of a consumer and more of a developer after the experience.  Listening to them talk about how their knowledge could be applied in multiple industries in a changing labour market was energising.  I’m really grateful to MASS for the time and effort they’ve put in to giving our students a truly unique opportunity, and I’m hopeful that they may have met some of their future employees.”

Kevin Gladwin, MASS Business Development Manager said, “What a great week for the students, to see some practical application to their studies. Wonderful for MASS to have initiated a relationship with Silverstone UTC, which we hope to progress over the coming months and years.”

We provide a variety of cyber related services to a range of businesses. We are a Certification Body for both Cyber Essentials (CE) and Cyber Essentials Plus. CE is a simple but effective, Government backed scheme that will help to protect organisations, whatever their size, against a whole range of the most common cyber-attacks. In addition, we offer penetration testing services, finding weaknesses in computer systems and working with the organisation to overcome the detected issues.

Find out more about our cyber services.