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Hackers can take control of your Ford and Volkswagen cars

Christian Fernsby |
Security flaws have been uncovered in two best-selling cars that could allow computer hackers to gain access and put safety and privacy at risk.

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Topics: FORD    VOLKSWAGEN    CAR   

Consumer group Which? partnered with experts to study the connected tech features of two models, the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Polo.

The research concluded that manufacturers are being ‘careless with security’ because there is no meaningful industry-wide regulation for in-car technology.

Cyber security experts found they could intercept the tyre pressure monitoring system on the Ford. Hackers could tell the system to show that flat tyres were fully inflated – a potentially dangerous safety concern.

Analysing the code also uncovered wi-fi details and the password of a computer system at Ford’s factory in Detroit, Michigan. (The Focus is built in Europe.)

Which? also noted the amount of personal information the car was storing, including location and travel direction, speed, acceleration, braking and steering.

On the Volkswagen, the security experts gained access to the infotainment system, through the ‘disable traction control’ function.

They noted it contains a huge amount of personal information, including phone contacts and location history.

Furthermore, the tech experts found they could access the car’s front radar module – simply by lifting the VW badge on the front grille.

This would allow hackers ‘to tamper with the collision warning system’.


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