A Wi-Fi-based alarm that is installed in a vehicle as protection against thieves may be the same alarm that may allow them to drive it away, if accessed and switched off, according to a report on the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC).
This may be a problem for owners of the Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid car whose security alert may be disabled remotely via “bugs” in its on-board Wi-Fi, the report said.
The BBC report quoted security expert Ken Munro as saying that car who exploit the bugs “gain time to break into and steal a vehicle” by tinkering with its settings draining its battery.
Munro said the vehicle’s onboard Wi-Fi system communicated directly with its associated app instead of passing through a server run by the automaker.
Tests found the commands sent to the Outlander include turning off the car alarm.
For its part, Mitsubishi recommended that users turn off the Wi-Fi while it investigated the issue, the report said.
But BBC said the Outlander was not the first or only security-challenged vehicle, others included the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf.