Warning as cars can be hacked by digital radio
A new warning has emerged that infotainment systems on several cars could be hacked to seize control of a vehicle’s critical systems, including the breaks.
The NCC security group alerted the public to the hacking flaw after it found a way to carry out the attacks by sending data through digital audio broadcasting signals.
This scare follows shortly after news that Uconnect systems installed in thousands of cars produced by the Fiat Chrysler Automobile Company could be easily hacked through an internet connection.
The NCC demonstrated the hacking flaw on a BBC Radio station, where company representative Andy Davis created a DAB station from highly available and relatively low cost components.
He stated that by using the method the NCC discovered, the attacker can send a code that allows them to take over the system, where they can then control more critical systems such as steering and breaking.
“If someone were able to compromise the infotainment system, because of the architecture of its vehicle network, they would in some cases be able to disable the automatic braking functionality,” said Mr. Davis.
Depending on the power of the transmitter created, the broadcast could allow hackers to control several cars at once.
“As this is a broadcast medium, if you had a vulnerability within a certain infotainment system in a certain manufacturer’s vehicle, by sending one stream of data, you could attack many cars simultaneously,” continued Mr. Davis. “[A hacker] would probably choose a common radio station to broadcast over the top of to make sure they reached the maximum number of target vehicles.”