Everything You Need to Know About Auto Hacks

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You likely think about your computer, servers, bank account, and business being hacked…but do you ever consider your car? 

Car hacks are on the rise, largely thanks to continually more advanced technology offerings in the newest cars on the market.

Let’s dive into everything you need to know about automobile hacks and which brands you may want to be extra wary of if you’re in the market for a new car.

What is Auto Hacking?

First, know this: auto hacking is a rapidly changing landscape. The threats you face today with certain vehicles could change within the year.

Automotive hacking is the exploitation of vulnerabilities within automobiles’ software, hardware, and communication systems.

As it stands right now, stalking, illegal data collection, and jailbreaking are all examples of current vehicle hacking tactics. In the near future, many experts predict (and fear) that advanced drive-assistance and semi-autonomous driving systems could be affected next. In short, experts are worried that in the future malicious actors may try to control your vehicle’s movement remotely. Scary!

How Do I Know if My Vehicle Has Been Hacked? 

Perhaps the greatest fear after having your vehicle hacked is not knowing it has occurred. Signs your vehicle may have been hacked include: 

  • Forced acceleration
  • Brake interference
  • Issues with smartphone connect 
  • Wireless key hacks

If you notice any of these issues, do not drive your car and contact your vehicle manufacturer immediately. 

Which Car Models Are Most Likely To Be Hacked? 

The million-dollar question. If you’re reading this blog, one of the first questions in your mind is likely, “Am I driving a car that is vulnerable to attack?”

Newer models with more advanced technology features are more likely to be attacked as cybersecurity hackers require a certain level of technology to hack your vehicle remotely. If you’re purchasing a new car today, know that pretty much every vehicle on today’s market is vulnerable to an attack.

In addition, specific vehicle makes and models are especially vulnerable to attack. These include Acura, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Toyota. 

Top Auto Threats in 2023

As we finish up the second half of 2023 and head into 2024, these are the top threats facing the automobile industry. As automakers continually advance vehicle connectivity features, remote threats are more common. Research shows that 82% of attacks were completely remote, including manufacturers, consumer vehicles, and dealerships. All that said, half of all vehicle threats involve keyless entry. 

The top auto threats this year include: 

  • Automotive Cybersecurity threats.
  • Keyless car theft. 
  • EV charging station exploitation. 
  • Infotainment system attacks. 
  • Brute force network attack. 
  • Phishing attacks. 
  • Compromised aftermarket devices. 
  • Ransomware.

The Future of Car Hacking

What’s next for auto hacking, and what should consumers do to stay safe? 

First, research your car manufacturer before making a new purchase. Prioritize car makers that are utilizing encryption to protect data in cars. 

The future of car hacking means automakers must update their data security procedures to fend off attempts by hackers. Make sure you research and know which manufacturers are taking the problem seriously. 

Second, pay attention to the news. Which automakers are continually making the news for big-name hacks? Which automakers (for example, Tesla) are at the forefront of cybersecurity vulnerability testing? Make your purchase decision accordingly. 

Third, know the signs of a car hack. Take it seriously. If you have any hunch your car has been remotely hacked, do not drive the vehicle.

As a managed IT service provider in the Greater Phoenix Area, PK Tech is here to provide the latest news in cybersecurity. Contact us here.