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Nissan apologizes, shutters mobile app that left Leaf EV hackable

Lucas Mearian | Feb. 26, 2016
Automaker plans to fix the security holes and re-issue the app.

This is not the first time security experts have demonstrated vehicle vulnerabilities via a remote app.

Last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a recall notice for 1.4 million vehicles in order fix a software hole that allowed hackers to wirelessly break into some vehicles and electronically control vital functions such as braking and acceleration.

The National Highway Safety Administration also investigated the security issues that involved 2015 Jeep Cherokees.

Security experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek collaborated with Wired magazine to demonstrate how they could remotely hack into -- and control -- the entertainment system and more vital functions of a Cherokee SUV.

The hackers were able to use the cellular connection to the Jeep's entertainment system, or head unit, to gain access to other systems; the head unit is commonly connected to various electronic control units (ECUs) located throughout a modern vehicle. There can be as many as 200 ECUs in a vehicle.

"We could have easily done the same thing on one of the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable vehicles on the road," Miller told Computerworld at the time.


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