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BMW Patches Security Flaw That Let Hackers Open Doors

BMW has issued an update to close a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to open the doors of more than two million vehicles.

BMW has issued an update to close a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to open the doors of more than two million vehicles.

The flaw affected BMW’s ConnectedDrive equipment, which allows car owners to access the Internet and other services using a SIM card installed in the vehicles. The issue was publicized by researchers with the German motorist association ADAC. According to the ADAC, the vulnerabilities could be used to open the doors via a mobile phone within minutes without leaving traces.

According to Reuters, the researchers launched their attack by simulating a fake phone network for the BMW cars to access. Once they did, the hackers were able to compromise them.

“It appears the vulnerability revolved around the insecure transmission of data, as the patch rolled out by BMW appears to have enabled HTTPS,” blogged security researcher Graham Cluley. “Something you would probably have hoped that BMW’s engineers would have thought about in the first place.”

In a statement, BMW said it was not aware of any attempts to exploit the situation.

“The online capability of BMW Group ConnectedDrive allowed the gap to be closed quickly and safely in all vehicles,” the company noted. “Access to functions relevant to driving was excluded at all times. There was no need for vehicles to go to the workshop.”

“If you are worried that your vehicle may not have received the update (perhaps because it has been parked in an underground car park or other places without a mobile phone signal, or if its starter battery has been disconnected) then you should choose “Update Services” from your car’s menu,” Cluley added.

Last year, members of ‘I am The Cavalry’ penned an open letter to automotive industry leaders requesting they do more to build cybersecurity into cars. 

“The once distinct worlds of automobiles and cyber security have collided,” according to the letter. “In kind, now is the time for the automotive industry and the security community to connect and collaborate toward our common goals.”

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