And as cars seem to have more in common with computers on wheels these days they are extremely vulnerable to “updated” thieves. The disturbing news came from two researchers who appeared at the Black Hat Conference, an annual gathering of hackers and security pros in Las Vegas. They proved that using only an Android smartphone and some creative programming, they were able not to only unlock a Subaru Outback but also to start up its engine.
“I could care less if I could unlock a car door. It’s cool. It’s sexy. But the same system is used to control phone, power, traffic systems. I think that’s the real threat." Don Bailey, Senior Security Consultant for iSEC Partners and one of the pros who hacked the car, told CNN.
In order to hack their way into the Subaru Outback, Bailey and his colleague used a method called “war texting,” in order to intercept the password used by the car they hijacked. But the car manufacturers say that it is not possible, which is a normal attitude considering that they have tried to decrease consumer concerns. The main concerns were related to the increasing dependence on remote key and other digital gadgets which might be a threat to safety and security.