The UK Outlander is essentially the same one we get over here in the US. Except, you know, the whole wheel-on-the-wrong-side thing.
Hacking a car might sound like a silly term that some fearmonger would use to get you all worked up about nothing, but it's actually a bit scary. Considering that more and more cars are connected in various ways, the number of ways to sneak into a car is higher than ever. One British security firm thinks it's found a pretty serious vulnerability in a Mitsubishi Plug-in
Pen Test Partners found that the Outlander PHEV used an interesting method of connecting the car to an owner's mobile phone. Whereas many mobile apps use the internet as an intermediary between phone and car, Mitsubishi offers a direct connection via Wi-Fi. Add in a weak factory password, and unscrupulous nerds can access the vehicle's settings.
Once access was granted, the firm was able to change battery charge settings, fiddle with the HVAC controls and turn on the headlights. Perhaps most worrying, they disabled the alarm system. If a criminal outside the car made that happen, a quick lock-jimmying and boom -- they're in the car.
Pen Test Partners said they brought the issue to Mitsubishi. After an initial blow-off, the group made this video, and now Mitsubishi's UK office claims to be working on a solution. Mitsubishi did not immediately return my request for comment.
Thankfully, making off with the car is a much harder thing to do, but knowing that disabling the car's alarm is as easy as sniffing out a network and brute-forcing a relatively simple password is a bit troublesome. Until a fix is found, Pen Test Partners suggest turning the car's Wi-Fi system into sleep mode. You'll lose mobile car access, but so will everyone else.
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