BEACON TRANSCRIPT – It would seem that we are not quite ready to cash out our old cars for the new generation of self-driving vehicle. As awesome it would seem to own a smart car, with lots of cools features, there are a couple of downsides we should take into account. Recently, a student discovered that an app’s glitch can leave Nissan cars vulnerable to hackers.
For better or for worse, we live in an age where is everyone is connected through smart devices. Leaving behind the benefits of this interconnectivity, we should address ourselves to the matter of security. If everyone is online, then how can we make sure that our information is safe?
Well, that’s a tough question indeed, one that has yet to receive any answer. Recently, an event of some magnitude occurred within the industry of autonomous carmakers. A digital security student discovered a technical bug inside one of Nissan’s Leaf application.
Despite that the bug seems minor at first glance, it can have some serious consequences if Nissan doesn’t fail to fix it. So, what did the student find? Like many other autonomous vehicles, Nissan Leaf has a series of application that permits the car to stay in touch with a server. Moreover, the car also features a software which a driver can use in order to receive information about his or hers smart car.
One smartphone application seems to have had a little flaw. According to the student’s statement, he had no difficulty in bypassing the normal authentication procedures in order to connect to a car. Once inside the software, he could easily tamper with some of the vehicle’s function, like the AC or other controls.
Furthermore, the glitch could also allow a potential hacker to steal valuable information about the car’s owner and to tamper with other critical systems.
After discovering the glitch, the student immediately notified Troy Hunt, his instructor, who, in turned warned Scott Helm, the owner of the Leaf system. With a little research, the two digital security researchers found out that at hacker can easily break into someone’s car by taking advantage of this glitch. Furthermore, by tampering with the car’s controls, the hacker can ever drain the car’s battery, leaving the driver stranded on the road.
What’s even worse about the bug is that someone can use it in order to access any number of vehicles, all from the comfort of his own home. Naturally, Hunt and Helm forwarded this problem to Nissan, which failed to respond.
Helm declared that 32 days have elapsed since he notified Nissan about the issue and up until now, the carmaker failed to fix the problem.
App’s glitch can leave Nissan cars vulnerable to hackers who can easily steal the car’s VIN or tamper with the controls.