Following concerns that a software fault has left its cars open to hackers, Nissan has disabled the official app for its Leaf electric cars.
Security researcher finds software bug
As reported by the BBC, security researcher Troy Hunt first found the software flaw and warned the Japanese automaker that hackers could get access to a car, drain its battery and obtain journey data.
Nissan disables app
However, the glitch did not put lives at risk as it cannot be abused while a car is in motion. Denying that any of its electric vehicles pose a safety issue, Nissan has taken a precautionary measure and disabled the app.
The company’s eNV200 electric vans were also vulnerable.
“The NissanConnect EV app – formerly called CarWings – is currently unavailable,” the firm said in a statement.
The firm apologised “for the disappointment caused to our Nissan Leaf and eNV200 customers” and underlined that “the quality and seamless operation of our products is paramount.”
“We’re looking forward to launching updated versions of our apps very soon,” Nissan said.
Connected car market expected to grow, but security remains a key concern
The global connected car market is expected to reach a value of US$153.6 billion by 2020, according to an industry report available from Research and Markets.
Security researcher Troy Hunt was able to hack into a friend’s Leaf car and access information for the vehicle’s climate controls and battery status. Hunt was based in Norway during the demonstration, while the car was located in the UK.
Hunt revealed that the only piece of information required to compromise the application’s programming was the vehicle identification number, visible through the windshield.
The global connected car M2M connections market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 28% by 2020, as stated in another Research and Markets’ report. However, cyber security risks such as the one exposed by Troy Hunt must be minimised in order to build consumer confidence and encourage sales in this market.
Edited from sources by Cecilia Rehn.