A recent report from the well-known security company, Kaspersky, states that Android connected car apps can leave your vehicle vulnerable to attackers. This isn't some science-fiction scenario where a cool hacker with a laptop takes control of your car while you're driving it, but something a lot simpler and very inconvenient. Thieves could hack the app in your phone, let themselves into your vehicle and steal items from your vehicle or simply drive off with your car.
Kaspersky's team wanted to know how secure car connected apps actually were, so it tried hacking them. For security purposes, the Russian company didn't make public the list of apps that they've tested, but seven out of the nine applications they looked into could be hacked. According to the report, there are two methods of using someone's phone to get into their cars: either by taking advantage of the victim's rooted phone or by fooling the car owners into installing malware on their smartphones. While for most people the chances for either attack to work are pretty slim, it's a still risk I would rather not take. Lastly, the car companies have been informed about the problem; unfortunately, according to the security researchers, these issues aren't caused by a vulnerability, but by a complete lack of defenses.
If you're interested in security in the virtual world, you should check out some of our older stories such as: "DDoS attacks: all you need to know", "Keep yourself safe from phone scams" or "Cyber-warfare and the future".