Every Thursday, I summarize a podcast about cybersecurity so you can read it in about five minutes or less. This week features Kevin Fu, a professor at the University of Michigan, who spoke with Robert Vamosi of the Hacker Mind Podcast (#6) about the risk of laser attacks disrupting critical sensors. [Note: Questions and answers were edited for brevity and clarity.]
Vamosi: Can any device with a real-world sensor be attacked?
Fu said that any devices with sensors can be attacked. Any kinetic link is a feedback loop where there’s a sensor telling a computer to change a cyber-physical system is vulnerable.
Vamosi: Would an attack on a sensor impact AI and machine learning?
Fu said that AI, machine learning layers are vulnerable. Sensors now send data to computers doing machine learning-based classification or computer vision. It creates a host of intellectually challenging problems. It’s also a very practical problem because cars are ubiquitous, and you want to make sure that an adversary with a laser pointer can’t cause havoc with autonomous vehicles.
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