Nissan Leaf Smartphone App Disabled After Hacking Concerns

Nissan Leaf Smartphone App Disabled After Hacking Concerns

The Nissan Leaf has been hacked through a smartphone app that many Leaf owners use.

The NissanConnect EV app, which is used by owners to control some of their cars’ functions as well as get real-time status updates, has been temporarily disabled by the Japanese automaker after a vulnerability was found. Computer security researcher Troy Hunt has discovered that the app can be used to remotely hack and access a Leaf’s temperature controls and review its driving record by just having the car’s VIN.

Hunt had apparently reported the flaw to Nissan on January 23 and had contacted the Japanese automaker multiple times. He only posted a blog explaining the issue after people began discussing it on security forums online.

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Nissan’s Steve Yaeger released a statement to USA Today saying that the issues relating to the Nissan Leaf hack has “no effect whatsoever on the vehicle’s operation or safety.” The company plans to launch an updated version of the app “very soon,” presumably with a fix in place.

In his post, Hunt does say that the vulnerability is trivial since it doesn’t impact the driving controls of the vehicle. It is however, a cautionary tale for automakers that are trying to take advantage of smartphone apps to make lives easier for their owners.

Last year, hackers were able to control a Jeep Cherokee remotely, including its gas and brake pedal controls. The American automaker had to recall over 1.4 million vehicles after the hack was exposed.

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