A group of researchers from Tandon School of Engineering, New York University, for the first time, have found vulnerabilities in MirrorLink, a system that allows vehicles to communicate with smartphones. MirrorLink, created by the Connected Car Consortium that represents 80 percent of the world’s automakers, is the first and leading industry standard for connecting smartphones to in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. According to the researchers today’s automobiles leave the factory with prototype software features that are disabled but can be unlocked by clever drivers. Some automakers disable it because they chose a different smartphone-to-IVI standard or because the version of MirrorLink in their vehicles is a prototype that can be activated later, the researchers said in a university statement. Also Read - Why smartphones must be classified as an essential product during COVID-19 lockdowns
The researchers also found that MirrorLink is relatively easy to enable and when unlocked can allow hackers to use a linked smartphone to control safety-critical components. “Tuners — people or companies who customize automobiles — will root around for these kinds of prototypes and if these systems are easy to unlock they will do it,” said Damon McCoy, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. “And there are publicly available instructions describing how to unlock MirrorLink. Just one of several instructional videos on YouTube has gotten over 60,000 views,” McCoy added. Also Read - How is the Smartphone Industry Trend in 2021?
Last year, the New York University School of Engineering was gifted $100 million by an Indian-American couple Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon and was renamed the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The gift — which is supporting faculty hiring and academic programs — was intended to build on the engineering school’s existing practice of cross-disciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship and achieve new levels of academic excellence in engineering. The research was presented at the 10th USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies (WOOT ’16) in Austin, Texas held last month. Also Read - Flipkart Smartphones Carnival sale: Deals on Apple, Samsung, Poco, Realme, more smartphones