Your car electrical system is, unfortunately, extremely vulnerable to being hacked. For this reason, it is essential you know of prevention methods that will keep you and your car safe.
Protect your car electrical system
We understand how important your car is, and the increasing rate at which hackers are gaining access to vehicles is quite unsettling. In fact, studies have found that around 110 vehicles on the roads in the UK and Europe can be hacked in seconds! Moreover, in 2015, a study was conducted on a 2014 Jeep Cherokee which resulted in two hackers being able to cut the transmission and control the throttle. After the experiment, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a vehicle recall for Jeeps, Dodges and Chryslers to update their software and make them more secure.
To avoid this happening to you, it is vital that you know how to deter hackers from targeting your car and make it secure enough so, if an attempt on your electrical system is made, it is unsuccessful.
When you own a car, not only is it important to keep your electrical system secure, but regular maintenance is key to a fully functioning vehicle. Audi car service and maintenance and Car service in Milton Keynes will ensure your car is in immaculate condition and safe to drive. Using a reputable company to service your car will not only give you the confidence that your vehicle is in the care of qualified individuals, but they will also be able to advise you on the best ways to keep your car safe from hackers.
Stop using your keyless fob
Although keyless fobs are convenient and very user-friendly, it is becoming increasingly common for hackers to use high-tech electronic devices to intercept keyless entry systems and gain access to cars with ease.
If you own a keyless fob, you should understand how it works and thus, how easy it is for a hacker to use it to their advantage. The communication between your fob and car is intended only to take place when they are within a close proximity to each other. Ultimately, it is a simple device which boots the wireless signal between itself and the car it is intended to open. Hackers can intercept this signal and ultimately trick your car into thinking the key is nearby when it is not.
An easy solution to prevent this from happening is investing in a faraday bag. This product is essentially a small pouch made out of a foam padded nylon material and several layers of RF shielding material. By placing your keyless fob in a faraday bag, its signal cannot be amplified and therefore make it impossible for criminals to gain access to your car.
Faraday bags can are incredibly useful and are not only helpful in keeping your fob secure, but they can also be used to store your bank cards and mobile phone to shield yourself against identity theft. In fact, they are even used by police officers, military personnel and intelligence agencies to prevent remote wiping of devices, avoid being digitally tracked and prevent mobile phones from being used as a bugging device.
Choose your car wisely
Top of the range car brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are highly desirable due to their sleek and modern exterior and a plethora of hi-tech features. However, the more computers and connectivity features a car has, the higher the risk of a hacker attacking it. Here is a list of cars which are most at risk of being hacked:
- Mini Clubman
- Mercedes C220
- Kia Optima
- Audi A3
- BMW 730d
- Audi A6
So if you are considering buying a new vehicle and want to decrease your chances of your electrical system being hacked, you might want to avoid the cars mentioned above.
Steering wheel lock
Peaking in popularity between the late 1980s and early 90s, steering wheel locks are an old-fashioned way of keeping your car secure. However, they act as an excellent hacker deterrent and are one of the most affordable options. London’s Metropolitan Police have advised that investing in a steering wheel lock is the best way to stop thieves from driving away in your beloved car.
When hackers target a vehicle, they will choose one that will guarantee a quick getaway, but a steering wheel lock will make this extremely difficult. For this reason, cars without a steering wheel lock are far more vulnerable and attractive to hackers, so they are worth the investment.
Your car’s onboard diagnostic system is the portal in which all repairs are diagnosed. This port allows technicians to access to the electrical systems which control your vehicle and review your car’s data for diagnostic purposes. However, if a hacker has access to your OBD, then they can easily programme a new key and gain control of your car. Therefore, an OBD lock is the best way to prevent this from happening. The lock is also useful if you get into a collision and there is an attempt to access your car’s accident information without your permission.
Avoid insurance dongles
Some insurance companies entice motorists with cheaper insurance premiums at the cost of installing a dongle into the above mentioned OBD port. Insurance companies claim that the cost of your insurance can be significantly decreased once installing one of these dongles into your car as they can monitor how safely you drive. While this may save you money on your insurance, it increases the risk of being targeted by hackers.
Ultimately, while these dongles may seem beneficial for short-term money saving, you need to ask yourself, is it worth the increased risk of a hacker attack?
Transform your car into the ultimate hacker detterent
No one wants to become a victim of car hacking, so it is your job to implicate prevention methods to keep your vehicle secure. Whether you opt for the old school steering wheel lock or a simple faraday bag, you are minimising your vulnerability from a cyber attack and keeping yourself and your vehicle safe.