There are fears that as more and more automakers and developers create smartphone applications to lock and unlock cars, hackers could gain access to millions of vehicles throughout the world.
This is the suggestion put forward by Wired who have exposed just how easy it can be for hackers toe enter a locked vehicle remotely and even start the ignition. What makes this even more worrisome is that researchers from Kaspersky have discovered that most Android apps to operate vehicles lack any significant defences, allowing hackers to either root a particular phone or trick a user into installing malicious code and to ultimately gain access to a vehicle.
“Why don’t connected car application developers care about security as much as the developers of banking applications? They’re also controlling very valuable things for the user, but they’re not thinking about security mechanisms,” Kaspersky researcher Viktor Chebyshev said.
One of the ways hackers can gain access to an individual’s smartphone key is by rooting their phone. Once this is done, a hacker can simply access stored login details and send these to the command-and-control server. Another way is to install malware on a phone which is triggered when the car app launches. When it does, the software can present a fake interface that will steal the user’s credentials.
Researchers say that iOS devices are much more difficult to hack but even still, it is obvious that applications have some way to come before they’re totally secure.