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NCC raises alarm on cyber attack, unlocking, stealing vehicles




NIGERIAN Communications Commission (NCC) has alerted telecom consumers and members of the public on an ongoing cyber-vulnerability which allows a nearby hacker to unlock vehicles, start their engines wirelessly and make away with them.

  The NCC’s Director of Public Affairs (DPA), Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, in a statement on Sunday, in Abuja, quoted the latest advisory, released by the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) established by the NCC, as saying:”The fact that car remotes were categorised as short-range devices that make use of Radio Frequency (RF) to lock and unlock cars informed the need to alert Nigerians on this emergent danger.

  “The vulnerability is a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack or, more specifically, a replay attack in which an attacker intercepts the RF signals normally sent from a remote key fob to the car. It manipulates these signals and re-sends them later to unlock the car at will. 

  According to the cyber-alert unit of the commission, when affected, the only mitigation is to reset your key fob at the dealership. He advised car owners ( Honda,Acura) to choose Passive Keyless Entry (PKE) as opposed to Remote Keyless Entry (RKE), which would make it harder for an attacker to read the signal due to the fact that criminals would need to be at close range to carry out their nefarious acts.

  He explained that the PKE is an automotive security system that operates automatically when the user is in proximity to the vehicle, unlocking the door on approach or when the door handle is pulled. The user locks it when walking away or touches the car on exit.

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