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Sport Boy Hack Threatens Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6


  • Automotive thieves are utilizing a Sport Boy-like gadget to hack into Hyundai group’s EVs, replicating key fob alerts for automobile entry.
  • This hack disables GPS location and in-app automobile monitoring, making it more durable to get well stolen vehicles.
  • The shift in direction of focusing on EVs highlights the speedy international adoption of electrical autos in numerous markets.

As carmakers develop new applied sciences, thieves study them, and are available again with even higher strategies to steal your automobile. It is that limitless sport of cat and mouse that explains why vehicles are nonetheless being robbed by the lots at the moment. And it isn’t as if carmakers have not been making an attempt to forestall this. New vehicles now include a full battalion of accessible anti-theft options, to not point out what’s presently accessible within the aftermarket. But, right here we’re with continually growing automobile theft statistics.

The newest information in auto theft land comes from a hack that apparently consists of an emulator – sure, the identical form that you simply use to play previous Nintendo video games in your laptop – enclosed in what appears to be like like a basic Sport Boy handheld gaming console. Whereas this device has been round for some time now, it is just lately been focusing on the Hyundai group’s newest electrical autos (EVs), such because the Hyundai IONIQ 5, the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60.


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Simply Like Your Personal Key Fob

Red Kia EV6 plugged into an Electrify America charging station indoors
Electrify America

We have heard about how thieves discover methods to repeat your key fob’s sign utilizing a laptop computer. They then use that very same laptop computer to unlock and begin your automobile. Amazon sells Faraday packing containers to guard you from this, and I extremely advocate you get one, particularly in case you’re the sort to go away your automobile keys near your house entrance like I do. This blocks your key fob’s sign from any potential hack from a close-by thief.

However this hack goes additional than that. The reseller behind this Sport Boy gadget, which apparently asks between $16,000 and $30,000 for it, by some means discovered a strategy to replicate the sign of most the Hyundai group’s newest key fobs. This causes the gadget to create a “handshake” along with your automobile when approaching it, permitting your thief to function your automobile as in the event that they’re carrying the important thing fob of their pocket.

The thief can then use the gadget to show off the automobile’s connectivity options, which disables GPS location and in-app automobile monitoring. The gadget also can unlock and begin different fashions from the Hyundai group, in addition to different carmakers. How the reseller was capable of program the gadget to imitate the important thing fob with out having an precise fob in hand stays a thriller. Nevertheless it’s nothing a proficient coder cannot work round.

Why Are Thieves Out of the blue Concentrating on EVs?

Side profile shot of a white 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N.

All of this comes as a shock to me as I just lately wrote a report on why automobile thieves aren’t concerned with electrical autos. Again then, statistics demonstrated that EVs weren’t on their radar – at the least, not within the US and Canada – primarily as a result of causes vehicles are being stolen within the first place. Most of those autos are shipped to different markets, notably to the Center East and Africa, the place charging infrastructure is scarce, and EV demand stays low. At the very least, that was the case earlier this 12 months.

However a current spike in EV theft can solely imply one factor: that their vacation spot markets at the moment are asking for them too, which says quite a bit about how shortly electrical automobile adoption has gone in solely six months.

Front of a red Kia EV6

As for this newest hack from thieves, there is not any method round the truth that immediately’s vehicles are closely related. This solely provides hackers extra ammunition to mess around with them. Typically, a good-old steering wheel locker can go a great distance.



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