WCC was recently notified that the Department of Transportation has approved the college’s purchase of a cybersecurity mobile hacking workbench using funds from the Center for Connected Automated Transportation (CCAT) Grant.

A mobile hacking workbench produced by GRIMM.

According to Dean of Business & Computer Technologies Eva Samulski, that purchase will be finalized in October. The workbench – essentially a mobile lab – will support the college’s information technology, cybersecurity and advanced manufacturing programs.

“It will allow students and industry professionals to learn how to hack into the technology software of a car using a hands-on approach,” Samulski said. “The equipment will be available to students on campus, at satellite locations and eventually virtually for those taking online courses.”

WCC faculty member Michael Galea was first introduced to the unit at a cybersecurity conference. It was designed by GRIMM, a cybersecurity engineering and consulting firm, to replicate all the components of a vehicle.

“A car today can have as many as 200 computers, which are multiple entry points in terms of the ability to hack,” Galea told the WCC Board of Trustees at its July 2018 meeting. “Seeing this workbench, I got the idea that it could be something beneficial to our programs. We can integrate it not only into our cybersecurity program, but other credit programs and also into non-credit programs in workforce development and potentially make it available to local businesses.”

GRIMM is not in the business of producing or selling the workbenches. Rather, they have agreed to custom-build a version specifically for WCC.

WCC has been working with GRIMM to increase education outreach in auto cybersecurity.