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Stalker Remotely Tracks and Controls Ex's Land Rover, Easy-Peasy

Pretty much like every other thing in our modern life, cars are interconnected. They come with wireless connectivity capabilities which, among other things, allows us more, usually remote control over their functions.
Stalker tracked and controlled woman's car by using app set up with her car's VIN 42 photos
The same capabilities can be leveraged against us, and one recent case has prompted the Australian courts to take the issue of cyberstalking by leveraging vulnerabilities in car tech more seriously. The case in question saw a man, who also happened to be a mechanic, track and control his ex-girlfriend’s Land Rover.

The man pleaded guilty and is now awaiting sentence, ABC.net reports. The crime happened last year in Hobart, Australia, after the two dated for about 6 months, during which time he helped her buy an unspecified Land Rover model. Because he’d been part of the transaction, he had access to the car’s VIN, which allowed him to install an app on his phone for that particular vehicle.

The app tracked the car movements and offered him live updates on its location. The man knew where his victim was at all times, for how long she’d been parked or which places she frequented more often. He also knew when she would be at her home.

Moreover, the app allowed him limited control of the car. He could remotely start the engine or brake, as well as lock and unlock the doors. The report doesn’t say whether he ever did this while the victim was inside the car or, worse, moving in traffic.

The victim only found out that the car was remotely tracked and controlled when she lost her phone and tried to track it online. His ex’s mail address came up for the account and she immediately called the police. At this week’s hearing, the victim told the court that she worked in the field of digital technology but, until this happened to her, had no idea she would be so vulnerable because of her car.

Wireless connectivity in cars is not new and, while incidents of car hacking do happen, they’re yet to make too many headlines. The issue of cyberstalking is relatively new to judicial systems around the world, and that of cyberstalking by means of car tech even more so.

Security experts urge drivers to show responsibility when buying a car with wireless connectivity capabilities. “As consumers, we should add cybersecurity concerns and questions to our car buying decision process. The same way we examine a car model’s safety rating, reliability and performances, we need to show concern about the cybersecurity of the car,” Asaf Ashkenazi, Chief Strategy Officer at Verimatrix, told autoevolution earlier this year.

 
 
 
 
 

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