ISIS and Tesla: A Match Made in Jihadist Heaven?

Radical Islam may have taken a backseat to leftist Antifa in terms of terrorism in 2017, but that doesn’t mean that anyone in America should be letting their guard down.

The unfortunately reality is that terrorism is simply a tool of the would-be oppressors now, and no longer an ideological decision worth contemplating.  Antifa and Radical Islam both have the goal of total global reckoning, and there is no room for a difference of opinion on that matter, at least as far as these two evil entities are concerned.

As for the tools that they use to commit their horrific acts, there is a nearly unlimited variety.

The 19 hijackers of September 11th took a far different approach than the men who attempted to previously bring down the Twin Towers with truck bombs in the buildings’ basements.  The evolution of evil is absolutely real, and unequivocally purposeful.  By adjusting tactics and tools frequently, these evildoers stay one step ahead of the security theatrics designed to stop them.

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In our modern day, Europe is at the forefront of terror tactics, thanks to their inexcusably relaxed border policies that have allowed nearly unfettered access to the continent for those who would look to do harm in the name of Allah.  What we are seeing in the European Islamic War are attacks based around simple and nigh-undetectable means:  Vehicles and knives.  Vehicle attacks have become so prevalent in modern terror that authorities have been hiring municipal dump trucks to block busy city streets during festivals and parades.

But, what if these terrorists were to take just one more step in their pursuit of the perfect vehicular weapon?  What is the cybersecurity crowd is late to the game?  What if the technology inside of your Tesla could be used to commit murder?

A writer at The Standard imagined just such a scenario this week:

“It’s a calm Saturday morning in August of next year. Suddenly, across the nation, 12,000 Tesla Model S sedans start up at the same time. They engage Tesla’s vaunted autopilot feature and head out onto the road. Some of them make their way to local gas stations. Some to electrical substations. And then, as they approach, they accelerate to top speed. The explosions are fantastic as the Model S batteries rupture and spark fires, which ignite anything flammable in the area. The power grid in the Los Angeles area is brought down almost immediately. Hundreds of fires rage. America is under attack. This might sound like science fiction. It’s not.”

We have already been explicitly aware of the possibility of hacked vehicles for some time, thanks to media such as this:

Now, what would be so difficult in applying this technology to do harm?  Not much, according to experts.

“Cyber criminals make mistakes and are arrested occasionally, but attacks can originate from states that do not cooperate with international institutions or foreign governments. And outside of the developed world there is often even less of a distinction between private individuals and state actors: A software security expert can work to enrich herself—or a criminal enterprise—one day and then work for their government’s intelligence service the next. This makes international cooperation even more difficult.

“The second thing to recognize about cyber security is that attack is much easier than defense. Attackers can probe from multiple points, such as previously-hacked computers or servers rented with stolen credit card information. They can patiently try different strategies until they succeed. Talented attackers may first invent a new method of attack, then write software to scan servers or internet traffic to create a prioritized list of potentially vulnerable organizations, and only then begin systematically breaching them.”

“A defender, on the other hand, is a sitting target. Her application is public facing, with URLs, domains, and data centers that anyone can investigate. She has a consistent, detectable set of operating systems, software languages, and libraries that are as well understood by potential adversaries as they are by the in-house team that is responsible for managing them.”

Tesla, in this case, would be the defender.

Hopefully for all of us who work and play in American cities where Teslas are primarily driven, Elon Musk and his minions have done their due diligence.

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