Argus Cyber Security, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup focused on automotive cyber security, has been acquired by Continental subsidiary Elektrobit (EB), which provides embedded software solutions to the automotive industry.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but some reports have the deal estimated to be in the range of $450 million.
Founded in 2013, Argus offers a modular suite designed to protect cars from hacks. Offerings include an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) that leverages Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) algorithms to help prevent a vehicle’s critical components from being hacked, which the company says can be integrated into any vehicle production line.
The Argus IPS also generates reports and alerts for remote monitoring of a vehicle’s cyber health, the company said.
The company has more 70 employees and 38 granted and pending patents.
As part of EB, the company will continue to engage in commercial relations with all automotive suppliers globally. “This combination of Continental’s broad automotive know-how, Argus’ technology, market-ready solutions and expertise in automotive cyber security, and EB’s deep automotive software knowledge, marks a unique cooperation in the automotive industry,” the company said.
Cyber threats to automotive systems are not necessarily new, but are becoming more of an issue as cars become connected to the Internet and to other devices such as smartphones, smart keys, diagnostic tools and other vehicles.
A number of security researchers have demonstrated the ability hack into modern vehicles to manipulate steering, acceleration, speedometers and safety sensors, sparking concerns that malicious attackers could use similar techniques to compromise a vehicle’s Electronic Control Units (ECUs) allowing manipulation of a car’s engine, brakes, airbags and other safety systems or vehicle components.