Hyundai and Kia issue software upgrades to thwart killer TikTok car theft hack

Trending 7 months ago

Korean car-makers Hyundai and Kia will rumor package updates to immoderate of their models aft a method of stealing them circulated connected TikTok, starring to galore thefts and moreover immoderate deaths.

The "Kia Challenge" started circulating successful mid-2022 and explained that it's imaginable to region nan steering file covering connected immoderate Hyundai and Kia models by force, exposing a slot that fits a USB-A plug. Turning nan plug activates its ignition, allowing thieves to thrust away.

Videos depicting nan hack went viral, starring to immense spikes successful thefts of nan susceptible models astir nan world.

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) connected Tuesday stated it is alert of "at slightest 14 reported crashes and 8 fatalities" resulting from nan hack.

Now some automakers person announced they'll rumor package to thwart nan exploit.

Hyundai's advisory states nan upgrade will beryllium performed by dealers and will require little than an hr to complete.

"The package upgrade modifies definite conveyance power modules connected Hyundai vehicles equipped pinch modular 'turn-key-to-start' ignition systems," The car-maker explained. "As a result, locking nan doors pinch nan cardinal fob will group nan mill siren and activate an 'ignition kill' characteristic truthful nan vehicles cannot beryllium started erstwhile subjected to nan popularized theft mode."

The update will beryllium progressively offered to owners of "almost 4 cardinal vehicles" – namely nan 2017–2020 Elantra, 2015–2019 Sonata and 2020–2021 Venue.

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The NHTSA's announcement states that "Kia is besides rolling retired its FREE package updates successful a phased approach. The institution will statesman to update vehicles later this month, pinch ensuing phases passim nan adjacent respective months."

Kia appears not to person announced its updates but did yesterday pledge complete nan aerial updates in-car infotainment and navigation systems for immoderate models.

Only cars that usage keys are susceptible to nan hack. Press-to-start vehicles – which trust connected power awesome from a fob to let motor commencement – are immune to nan onslaught because they deficiency nan mechanical elements that make this utilization possible.

Literal brute unit attacks connected car ignitions person been imaginable for decades, arsenic person different electrical intends of starting vehicles without a key.

The Kia Challenge’s beingness connected TikTok and different societal media platforms, however, meant nan method was wide shared. And acknowledgment to nan viral quality of societal media, and its cardinal spot successful celebrated culture, besides wide emulated. ®