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Hit the brakes! This top-selling car can be easily hacked

Hit the brakes! This top-selling car can be easily hacked
Photo courtesy of Nissan

There are all sorts of dangerous drivers on the open road. There's downright bad drivers, drunk drivers, distracted drivers ... and now there's a new danger to add to that list: hacked drivers.

We've seen how easy it is to take over a Jeep with a laptop, but now Nissan's Leaf cars are also vulnerable to hackers - but don't worry. It's not a life-threatening hack and Nissan says there's no safety threat to report.

Microsoft developer Troy Hunt discovered that the Leaf, "the world's best-selling electric car", and its service app "CARWINGS" can allow hackers to spy on users' data such as driving time, distance traveled and battery levels, and can also let hackers take over the car's air conditioning and heating systems.

The problem within the app lies with one of the most basic components of Internet security: the password. It turns out the CARWINGS app doesn't require a password at all, which seems strange.

All a hacker needs to access all your data is enter your username, which is, get this, your vehicle's VIN number, which is most cases is easy to access by anyone - you, your mechanic, or anyone else looking at your car.

Nissan has not yet issued a fix, and Hunt gave the company a month to issue a fix before he took his findings public. While the hacks aren't life-threatening, those concerned should opt out of the CARWINGS app until the fix is released.

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Source: Troy Hunt
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