Ways Your Car Can Be Hacked And How To Avoid Car Hacking
Keeping your automobile secure entails concealing valuables, shutting windows, locking doors, and activating your alarm system if you have one. However, there is a new security concern that many automobile owners aren’t aware of: hackers. Everything is hackable, even your vehicle.
Is it possible to hack your car? The quick answer is yes. With today’s modern capabilities, automobiles are effectively gigantic moving computers, just like any other computer or mobile device, and are susceptible to flaws, viruses, and hackers. Self-driving cars and vehicles with advanced safety systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane aid, and automated braking are particularly vulnerable. but virtually any vehicle manufactured in the last several years may be severely crippled by a hacker.
Continue reading to learn how your car might appear to have a mind of its own if you can expect to be hacked, and what you can do to avoid being a car hacking victim.
How Cars Can Be Attacked by Hackers
Can a hacker halt or turn off your automobile while you’re going at 70 mph on the freeway? Yes, theoretically. They are capable of doing so, as well as much more. Here are a few examples of how hackers might get access to your vehicle’s susceptible systems and make driving difficult, dangerous, or uncomfortable for you:
Tire pressure monitoring systems: Tire pressure monitoring systems alert drivers when the pressure in their vehicle’s tires is too low or too high, providing valuable early warnings to schedule servicing. However, when hacked, hackers may activate warning lights and even remotely track cars via the monitoring system.
Disabling brakes: While you can operate your brake pedal, your brakes are controlled by microprocessors in your onboard computer. Hackers who get access to your onboard computer can deactivate your brakes and even turn off your engine.
Manipulation of car diagnostics: Today, repair shops and dealerships rely heavily on onboard vehicle diagnostics systems to conduct initial issue diagnoses. Unscrupulous businesses, on the other hand, can manipulate your diagnostics system to make it look like you require them to conduct repairs that aren’t required.
Changing the time, a song on the radio, or your GPS destination: With access to your car’s electronics, hackers may easily make little but significant modifications to your vehicle. Something as unsettling as changing your radio station is possible. They can even hack into your GPS and modify your destination.
MP3 malware: The music you listen to on your car audio has the potential to infiltrate your vehicle. Malware programs can enter your car’s infotainment system and spread to other systems, including those that control your engine or brakes.
Forced acceleration: Power locks nowadays frequently include functions such as automatic locking when the vehicle is placed into a drive or reaches a specified speed. If the airbags have been deployed, they can also be unlocked. Cars with such integrated systems are subject to problems such as hackers using power locks to compel a car to accelerate.
Extended key fob range: Today’s wireless key fobs unlock automobile doors when the person carrying them is nearby. Thieves, on the other hand, can use radio repeaters to expand the range of the key fob, unlocking your car doors from up to 30 feet away.
Downloads of driving data: Many automobiles, particularly those equipped with GPS or telematics systems, record driving data. If this information is compromised, it might be used to invade your privacy and even find out where you live, work, or send your children to school.
Smartphone access: Hackers may be more interested in your vehicle’s linked mobile phone than in its systems, which can allow them access to credit card details, passwords, and financial data. If they get access to your vehicle’s system and locate your linked mobile phone, your information may be compromised.
Turning on the heat or air conditioning in the summer or winter: Vehicle air conditioning systems are less about enjoyment and more about safety in severely hot or cold regions. They are, however, just as vulnerable to hacking as any other system. In the summer, hackers may blast hot air and even switch on seat heaters.
Windshield wiper control: Windshield cleaning fluid is beneficial, but not when it is discharged unexpectedly or continuously. Then it may pose a risk to your visibility. This system, like your windshield wipers, is hackable.
Will Your Car Be Hacked?
Knowing that almost every vehicle is vulnerable to hacking nowadays is unsettling, but what are the chances that you may be harmed by auto-hacking? It’s doubtful that you’ll have an issue with hacking at this stage, but it’s better to be cautious than sorry. Most hackers aren’t interested in hacking automobiles since, unlike computers or mobile phones, there is no financial incentive (such as identity theft) to do so. Those that hack vehicles usually do it for fun or malicious intent.
Vehicles have been the target of very few real-world hackers. Rather, many car hacks are either theoretical or executed by teams of researchers attempting to uncover (and close) flaws. Most automobile hacks require extensive knowledge, equipment, and even physical access to the vehicle, making most car hacks difficult for amateur hackers to pull out. Vehicle makers are fully aware of the hazards of car hacking, and they are constantly developing remedies to keep cars safe from virtual harm.
However, as automobiles become more connected, autonomous, and even drive themselves, we may see more hackers turning to autos as a target. This is especially important since wireless devices make your vehicle more open to assaults.
How to Keep Your Car Safe from Hackers
Hackers aren’t particularly interested in your automobile – at least not yet. But they could be before long. As hackers understand they can use automobile hacking to hold car owners hostage, steal data, and commit hostile actions and theft, they may grow more interested in and skilled at hacking vehicles. While most automotive security measures must be implemented at the manufacturer level, there are several things that regular drivers may do to safeguard their vehicles from hacking:
Don’t program your home address into your GPS: While it may be convenient, vehicle thieves and hackers may use your GPS to discover your residence. And if they get access to your garage door opener, they may have access to more than just your car: they can also gain entrance to your home.
Limit using wireless or remote systems: Systems that remotely deactivate or monitor your car put you in the biggest danger. While many other systems are hard-wired into your vehicle’s computer, wireless or remote systems are frequently operated online, making them more vulnerable to and appealing to hackers.
Don’t keep your password in your car: Physical hacking might also occur inside your automobile. A car thief, for example, who discovers your OnStar password, can take over your account. That means the feature that allows you to remotely turn off your engine when you report a stolen car would be rendered ineffective.
Use reputed shops: Anyone with physical access to your car and hacking knowledge might cause difficulties for your vehicle. So, when you leave your automobile in a shop, whether for minutes, hours, or days, you run the risk of someone easily hacking into it — and even making it look like you require repairs that aren’t truly necessary. They may also have access to information such as your driving data history. Use only businesses and dealerships you know you can trust to not take advantage of your car’s computer systems.
Don’t install untrusted programs or utilize your car’s Web browser: Your car’s infotainment system is vulnerable and open to attack. Untrusted apps in your infotainment system might deliver malware. You should never utilize your vehicle’s Web browser. Instead, when securely parked, utilize your phone.
Keep track of car recalls: One cybersecurity-related vehicle recall has already occurred for the Jeep Grand Cherokee UConnect infotainment system. The flaw allowed access to the car’s acceleration, radio, brakes, windshield wipers, and other features. Customers who were affected got a USB drive to upgrade their vehicle’s software with new security features. All car owners should be on the lookout for such recalls.
Purchase a car that supports Android Auto or Apple CarPlay: Using your smartphone to control your vehicle’s entertainment system is more responsible than a standalone infotainment system. If you take mobile security precautions, your system will be more secure.
Buy an old car and wait for automakers to catch up: While this may not be a viable option for many drivers, Luddites can simply purchase a vehicle that predates many of the connected features that make vehicles vulnerable today while automakers catch up and learn how to better protect vehicles and their drivers from hacking vulnerabilities.
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