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Chinese Hackers Find Over a Dozen Vulnerabilities in BMW Cars


Chinese language security researchers maintain chanced on bigger than a dozen vulnerabilities within the onboard compute items of BMW vehicles, about a of which is ready to be exploited remotely to compromise a vehicle.

The safety flaws were chanced on all over a year-long security audit conducted by researchers from Eager Security Lab, a cybersecurity analysis unit of Chinese language firm Tencent, between January 2017 and February 2018.

In March 2018, the team responsibly disclosed 14 assorted vulnerabilities on to the BMW Community, which impacts its vehicles since as a minimum 2012.

These are the a similar neighborhood of researchers who maintain beforehand chanced on multiple vulnerabilities in assorted in-vehicle modules outdated by Tesla, that may perhaps perhaps even were exploited to construct a ways-off controls on a target vehicle.

Now that BMW started rolling out patches for the vulnerabilities to vehicle homeowners, the researchers maintain long past public with a 26-page technical record [PDF] describing their findings, even supposing they performed with out publishing some predominant technical facts to pause abuse.

The researchers said a stout copy of their analysis is anticipated to look within the future in early 2019, whereby the BMW neighborhood totally mitigates in opposition to the vulnerabilities.

The team of Chinese language infosec researchers involving about three serious vehicular elements—Infotainment System (or Head Unit), Telematics Alter Unit (TCU or T-Box), and Central Gateway Module in plenty of BMW models.


Here’s the list of flaws uncovered by the researchers:

  • eight flaws affect the web-connected Infotainment System that performs song and media
  • Four flaws maintain an affect on the Telematics Alter Unit (TCU) that offers telephony services, accident assistance services, and skill to lock/unlock the vehicle doorways remotely.
  • 2 flaws maintain an affect on the Central Gateway Module that has been designed to receive diagnostic messages from the TCU and the infotainment unit after which switch them to other Electronic Alter Devices (ECUs) on assorted CAN buses.

Exploiting these vulnerabilities may perhaps perhaps even allow attackers to ship arbitrary diagnostic messages to the target vehicle’s engine purchase watch over unit (ECU), which purchase watch over electrical capabilities of the vehicle, and to the CAN bus, which is the spinal cord of the vehicle.

This may perhaps at best allow miscreants to purchase complete purchase watch over over the operation of the affected vehicle to some degree.


Four flaws require a bodily USB find loyal of entry to or find loyal of entry to to the ODB (On-board diagnostics) port, that capacity attackers want to be inner your vehicle to expend them by plugging a malware-encumbered design into the USB port.

Yet any other four vulnerabilities require bodily or “indirect” bodily find loyal of entry to to the vehicle.

On the change hand, six vulnerabilities is also exploited remotely to compromise vehicle capabilities, including one conducted over a brief vary by job of Bluetooth or over long vary by job of cell networks, even when the vehicle is being pushed.

The team confirmed that the vulnerabilities existed in Head Unit would maintain an affect on plenty of BMW models, including BMW i Sequence, BMW X Sequence, BMW three Sequence, BMW 5 Sequence, BMW 7 Sequence.

On the change hand, researchers said the vulnerabilities uncovered in Telematics Alter Unit (TCB) would maintain an affect on “BMW models which geared up with this module made from the year 2012.”

BMW has confirmed the findings and already started rolling out over-the-air updates to repair some bugs within the TCU, but other flaws will need patches thru the dealers, which is why the researchers maintain scheduled their stout technical record to March 2019.

BMW also rewarded Eager Security Lab researchers with the important thing winner of the BMW Community Digitalization and IT Be taught Award, describing their analysis “by a ways basically the most complete and complicated testing ever conducted on BMW Community vehicles by a Third occasion.”