Automotive Hacking; Latest News, Challenges & Prevention Techniques ( Part-II )

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Written By Aditya Sharma

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Automotive hacking manipulates critical systems within a car, such as steering, brakes, and acceleration & poses a serious safety threat to drivers and passengers.

As vehicles become increasingly connected and reliant on complex computer systems, the risk of automotive hacking is a growing concern, especially during & after the pandemic.

In this blog, we will explore the challenges posed by automotive hacking, and some of the prevention techniques currently being used to safeguard against this threat known as car hacking or automotive hacking.

👉 You can Visit part-I of this blog here Automotive Hacking: Real or Fake? A Quick Guide! (Part I).

Automotive Hacking Use Cases ( Kia And Hyundai? )

Kia and Hyundai models have been targeted across the country following a TikTok social media challenge that encourages the stealing of these vehicles and shows viewers how to steal the vehicle without a key.

Why Were kia & Hyundai Cars Hacked?

 Because these car models don't have electronic immobilizers, which confirms that the key belongs to that vehicle.

👉 In 2015, Kia-Hyundai vehicle models included only 26 %  immobilizers while other manufacturers have 96 % immobilizers.

What Is Electronic Immobilizer? 🤔
An electronic immobilizer is a security system installed in a vehicle that uses an electronic signal to prevent the engine from starting unless the correct key or electronic fob is present.

👉 The rise of stolen Kias and Hyundais started in Milwaukee with a notorious car-theft group known as the "Kia Boys".

👉The vehicles being targeted are Kia models from 2011-21 and Hyundai models from 2015-21.

👉 In January 2023, 19% of all vehicles stolen in the city were Kia or Hyundai, models. For comparison, those vehicles only accounted for 4% of all stolen vehicles from August 2021 through January 2022.

What Kia & Hyundai Did To Deal With Automotive Hacking?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), Kia and Hyundai will provide the software update free of charge, which will be handled in a phased approach.

Hyundai also will provide customers with a window sticker alerting would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with anti-theft protection.

The software will be available to about 3.8 million Hyundai and 4.5 million Kia vehicles, according to NHTSA. The software will be provided free of charge to vehicle owners. 

Software Fix By Kia & Hyundai
  • The software makes two critical changes to the Kia and Hyundai vehicles.
  • It updates the theft alarm software logic to extend the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and
  • Also requires a key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on.

Customers must use the key fob to unlock their vehicles and deactivate the ignition kill feature, Hyundai said.

Kia has also promised some customers enhanced security software that should be available over the next few months, the company said in a statement.

According to Hyundai, all of the company's vehicles produced since November 2021 have an engine immobilizer. All of Kia's 2022 models have an immobilizer. 🤓

NHTSA ( National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ) urges owners of these vehicles to contact Hyundai (toll-free at 800-633-5151) or Kia (toll-free at 800-333-4542) for information on the free update.☎

How To Protect Your Kia And Hyundai From Being Hacked

Indianapolis police shared the following tips to prevent car hacking.

  • Install a steering wheel locking device
  • Install quality video surveillance cameras and alarms
  • Install a GPS tracking device
  • Leave porch lights on
  • Call police regarding suspicious people
  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Never leave your car running
  • Establish relationships with neighbors and fellow business owners
  • Contact dealerships regarding anti-theft options for the vehicle.

Keep information, such as the make, model, model year, license plate, and Vehicle Identification Number accessible in the event your vehicle is stolen

How Hackers Can Gain Access To Your Vehicle?

There are various ways in which hackers can gain access to your vehicle, including:

Forcible Acceleration

Hackers can remotely access the car's computer systems to control the throttle, breaking, and other driving functions. This causes the car to either accelerate quickly or shut down completely.

Extended Key Fob Range

Hackers can access the key fob of the vehicle to make it open or close by itself. Hackers can also force the ignition to turn off if the car is left running without the key fob.

Smartphone Access

Hackers may gain access to your gadgets if your car is connected to the internet. Cyberattacks could compromise your passwords, credit card numbers, driving records, bank information, and driving records.

Hackers may also be able to access connected automobile apps in an attempt to steal sensitive information. Unauthorized access has been granted to clients' private information by rental car agencies in some cases. This type of leak could quickly become a serious vulnerability.

Hacking Your USB Port

Cyber attacks can be made on vehicles via USB data ports and other connections.

  • Numerous investigations have shown that hackers can exploit the infotainment system, and other inputs, in modern vehicles, especially those with USB connections.
  • Hackers often gain access to cars' systems via a USB device using social engineering techniques.
  • Once inside, hackers can install malware and make use of the car and its resources to their advantage. Hackers can also hack the driver's smartphone to gain sensitive information such as bank login pins and texts.

Hackers can access your car's USB ports and alter the vehicle's codes, making it unsafe or unpleasant to drive. A USB anti-data hacking adaptor is preferred to a regular data cable.


Secure telematics is a new way to collect and monitor car information. This system is often installed on fleet cars such as those bought by taxis or shuttle services.

The service can track the car's location, and monitor specific information such as fuel levels and oil changes. Hackers could easily access the private data on the car's computer by manipulating this system.

What Are The Challenges Of Automotive Hacking?

Car hacking, also known as vehicle cybersecurity, refers to the exploitation of vulnerabilities in a car's computer systems, software, and networks by unauthorized parties. As modern cars become more connected and rely more on software and computer systems, they become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The Challenges Of Automotive Hacking Include

The complexity of car systems: Modern cars contain a large number of electronic control units (ECUs) that communicate with each other through various protocols. The complexity of these systems makes it challenging to identify and address vulnerabilities.

Lack of security standards: There are currently no comprehensive security standards for vehicle cybersecurity. The absence of standards makes it difficult for manufacturers to ensure the security of their vehicles and for consumers to know what security measures are in place.

Connectivity: Modern cars are increasingly connected to the internet and other devices, such as smartphones. This connectivity expands the attack surface, making it easier for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities.

Lack of awareness: Many car owners are not aware of the potential risks associated with vehicle cybersecurity. They may not take the necessary precautions to protect their vehicles, such as updating software or changing default passwords.

Cost: Implementing robust security measures can be expensive, and car manufacturers may not be willing to bear the additional costs. This could lead to a lack of investment in security measures, leaving vehicles vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Time: Many cars on the road today were not designed with cybersecurity in mind. Retrofitting these vehicles with security measures can be time-consuming and costly.

Collaboration: Ensuring vehicle cybersecurity requires collaboration between car manufacturers, software developers, and security researchers. This collaboration can be challenging due to differences in priorities and objectives.

Overall, the challenges of car hacking are significant and require a concerted effort from all stakeholders to ensure the safety and security of vehicles.

How To Prevent Cyber Attacks On Automobiles?

There are many ways to protect your vehicle from hacking. These techniques will enable manufacturers to identify and solve any suspicious activity or threat, as well as provide solutions.

Upgrade Your Car’s Software

  • Vulnerable software is at constant risk of being hacked.
  • Hackers could steal your private information or gain control of your vehicle.
  • It is a good idea to regularly check your computer for updates.
  • You should keep an eye out for notifications from your auto manufacturer and make sure to update your car's software.

Limit Wireless System Use

  • You should be concerned about wireless systems that remotely monitor your vehicle's movements.
  • These systems can be at risk because wireless and remote systems can be controlled online, making them more susceptible to cyber-attacks.


  • VPNs have proven to be a reliable way to keep automotive operators safe.
  • VPN protects your vehicle's engine, as well as its electronic systems, from malware attacks.
  • To access the internet safely, car users should use a strong VPN.

Turn Off The GPS

  • Hackers love autonomous vehicle GPS systems.
  • They are easy to hack by "GPS Spoofing," which involves interfering using a radio signal with the GPS location system.
  • Drivers should turn off their GPS.
💡 GPS Spoofing: GPS spoofing refers to the act of deliberately sending false GPS signals to deceive a GPS receiver and manipulate its perception of the location and time.

Prioritize Security

  • When designing cars, manufacturers must ensure that security is the main focus.
  • Failure to do this can lead to automotive hacking.
  • If your vehicle is not equipped with security equipment, don't be alarmed.
  • Talk to our experts to find out more about our vulnerability assessment which will help you identify and fix security holes in your vehicle's infrastructure.

Vulnerability Assessment Management

This involves the identification, evaluation, treatment, and reporting of security vulnerabilities. This should be done in conjunction with other security measures that are essential for your vehicle.

👉 Tesla Motors, a premium manufacturer of electric vehicles, focuses more on cybersecurity than any other manufacturer. Their cars are known for being difficult to hack.

Although manufacturers have always protected their research and development, the issue has led to industry players sharing resources and working together on better cybersecurity practices.

They created the Auto Information Sharing and Analysis Center, (Auto-ISAC), and laid out guidelines to help suppliers and manufacturers be better prepared for cybersecurity issues.

Auto-ISAC Outlines The Following Practices

  • Assessment and management of risk
  • Design for security
  • Protection and detection of threats
  • Incident response and recovery
  • Awareness and training
  • Collaboration with third parties is encouraged.

These best practices create a solid framework that allows manufacturers to exchange information, analyze threats, and immediately develop solutions.

Future Of Automotive Hacking

As more vehicles have wireless and other cyber vulnerabilities, the automotive hacking community is expanding exponentially. This is an exciting new area for car hackers to exploit, and from which to learn.

Computer software and the internet will be able to control most modern vehicles. This will enable advanced driving assistance systems, Connected Media platforms, and other applications to be deployed with connectivity and in-car infotainment systems.

Final Thoughts!

In conclusion, automotive hacking is a pressing concern that highlights the need for increased cybersecurity measures in the automotive industry. With the rise of connected and autonomous cars, the risk of cyber attacks on vehicles has increased, and hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in a vehicle's electronic systems to gain unauthorized access and control.

We hope; you enjoy this well-researched blog and find trustful and helpful information in it. Keep visiting our website for such well-researched articles. Thank you!


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