Skip to main content

Hyundai Software Hacked, Prepare for More, But Don't Panic

Add Hyundai to the list of automakers who’ve had a model hacked. Well, in a sense.

Wired magazine intentionally hacked a Jeep a while back, and now we’ve heard that Hyundai just fixed a flaw that was allowing its Blue Link software app to be vulnerable to hacking.

Blue Link Leads to Issue

Blue Link is a connected car app that allows drivers to do various things, including starting their car remotely. A software vulnerability left the app exposed to hackers from December 2016 until March of this year. Hackers could use the vulnerability to locate, unlock and start vehicles according to Rapid7, the cyber security firm that uncovered the development.

Both Hyundai and Rapid7 reps said they knew of no cases of actual theft occurring before the vulnerability was patched.

“The issue did not have a direct impact on vehicle safety,” Jim Trainor, a spokesman for Hyundai Motor America, told Autoblog. “Hyundai is not aware of any customers being impacted by this potential vulnerability.”

Prepare for More Hacking Stories

While it’s not the first instance of cyber hacking in autos, and it didn’t involve moving vehicles, this latest kerfuffle follows on the heels of high-profile recall of Fiat Chrysler vehicle for similar issues back in 2015.

That means it’s the latest reminder that all this new software-based automotive tech may have some security flaws. While OEMs are certainly doing their best to make sure these problems get nipped in the bud before they led to vehicle theft (or worse, a crash caused by hacking), consumers need to remain aware of the potential risks.

No Need to Panic, But Caution is Fine

It’s not nearly panic time yet, but keeping an eye on the news for more information on potential automotive security threats going forward will be a good idea. Vehicle remote control via app is cool and convenient, but thieves and other ne’er-do-wells will be working to take advantage of software security flaws.

Keep that in mind as you check the options box for various tech features when you buy your next new car.