Hackers Take Over Outlander PHEV

Hackers Take Over Outlander PHEV

It’s funny how security plays a part in almost every aspect of our lives, including the “next big thing” in automotive: the connected car.

You asked for it, so car and tech companies are meshing together as one to create auto internet connectivity within the newest vehicles hitting the road. New cars are releasing with their own LTE modems and enabling remote apps for vehicle diagnostics or unlocking doors from the comfort of a phone or smartwatch.

But as we all know, anything that is connected to the internet, can and will be hacked. PenTestPartners proved that sentiment by hacking the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

The Outlander allows you to access its remote functions by connecting to the car’s own Wi-Fi network. A Wi-Fi network that Mitsubishi did a really bad job at securing, according to PenTestPartners.

The firm bought their own Outlander to investigate the car’s security after releasing that the mobile app connected differently to the car than they had seen before. They found the pre-shared key easily crackable and the default SSID too formulaic. Once connected to a vehicle, one can play with the lights, or climate control, but the researchers discovered they could lock or unlock the doors remotely, and perhaps more seriously, they are able to turn off the car’s alarm.

PenTestPartners said they contacted Mitsubishi about the security hole. They said their findings were “greeted with disinterest.”

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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