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Cars Exposed to Hacker Attacks by Hardcoded Credentials in MyCar Apps

Hardcoded admin credentials found in the MyCar Controls mobile applications could have been exploited to locate and gain physical access to a vehicle.

Hardcoded admin credentials found in the MyCar Controls mobile applications could have been exploited to locate and gain physical access to a vehicle.

A small aftermarket telematics unit from Montreal, Canada-based AutoMobility, MyCar provides users with a series of smartphone-controlled features for their cars, including geolocation, remote start/stop and lock/unlock capabilities.

“The easy-to-use MyCar app interface gives you control to remote start, lock, unlock and locate your vehicle from anywhere just by pushing a button on your smartphone,” the vendor says.

Directly from their smartphones, users can pre-warm or pre-cool the car’s cabin, lock and unlock the doors, control the vehicle’s security system, open the trunk, and easily find the car in a parking lot.

Both iOS and Android applications are available, and they can be used on vehicles with a compatible remote start unit. Tens of thousands of people are using these applications.

Hardcoded admin credentials found in the MyCar Controls mobile apps can be used to communicate with the server endpoint for a targeted user’s account, without having their username and password.

The issue was found to impact the iOS versions of the application prior to 3.4.24, as well as the Android versions prior to 4.1.2.

“A remote un-authenticated attacker may be able to send commands to and retrieve data from a target MyCar unit. This may allow the attacker to learn the location of a target, or gain unauthorized physical access to a vehicle,” Carnegie Mellon University’s CERT Coordination Center notes in a security alert.

MyCar allows vendors to rebrand the unit and corresponding mobile application, and some of the known brands under which the apps operate include Carlink, Linkr, Visions MyCar, and MyCar Kia.

In addition to updating the mobile apps to remove the hard coded credentials (in v3.4.24 for iOS and v4.1.2 for Android), AutoMobility revoked the admin credentials found in the old versions of the software. The rebranded versions of the apps have also been updated to patch the vulnerability.

Related: Flaws in Smart Alarms Exposed Millions of Cars to Dangerous Hacking

Related: Insecure Android Apps Expose Connected Cars

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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