Connected vehicles can be at risk of hacking

My Nissan Leaf Forum

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Well-known member
Feb 3, 2021
British Columbia
. . . experts warn modern, connected vehicles, which are heavily packed with microchips and sophisticated software, can offer an open door to hackers.


This is another reason I'm glad I don't have a smart phone or any apps, for charging or otherwise.
That's why (at least in the Nissan model--and they are not unique), the phone talks to a server...and the server talks to the car: there is no direct connection (WiFi/Bluetooth/whatever) between your phone and the car. If you add to that the fact that the car's connection is cellular (not WiFi), then it is even more difficult to "hack" that connection.
Yes: all mobile devices are security targets, but abandoning mobile phones and telematics (I use OVMS to "talk" to my Leaf with no issues) is simply being paranoid without following some common sense guidelines (protecting passwords, controlling BT/WiFi access, etc.).
The only hacking done on Nissan was years back when you could take a VIN number off the car and carefully craft a packet for the Nissan website to make the Climate Control come on for 15 minutes. Nissan fixed it a long time ago, but it is good to know at least they do security updates... on the website. The newer generation can lock and unlock doors, but at least, as far as I could tell from research, you can't "start" the Leaf and drive off with it to never be seen again.

The CAN bus hacking is a different issue, but I think the CAN bus masters at the forum said it would NOT work with the way the Leaf is setup to start. I'm sure with enough time you could hack your own Leaf with your own key fob that you can dissect and take chips out of to copy, but on a strangers Leaf becomes a lot more difficult. That's not referring to the key fob range extension trick for those that leave their key fob right next to the front door.