The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has issued a warning to owners of Kia and Hyundai vehicles, alerting them to a vulnerability that criminals are exploiting to bypass some car ignitions using a USB cable. While both manufacturers have said they are looking into fixing the issue, the NYPD is advising drivers to use a steering wheel locking device as a precaution.
According to a tweet from the official NYPD News Twitter account, criminals are taking advantage of a weakness in the software that controls the ignition system in some Kia and Hyundai models.
🚨Attention owners of Kia & Hyundai vehicles🚨 Criminals are using a vulnerability to bypass some car ignitions using a USB cable. While both manufacturers have said they are looking into fixing the issue, utilizing a steering wheel locking device is highly recommended. pic.twitter.com/YhjmtdC0X5
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 28, 2023
By using a USB cable to connect a laptop or other device to the car’s onboard diagnostic port, criminals can override the ignition system and start the vehicle without a key. While both Kia and Hyundai have acknowledged the issue and are working on a fix, the NYPD is urging drivers to take extra precautions to protect their vehicles.
In addition to using a steering wheel locking device, the NYPD is advising drivers to park in well-lit areas and to be vigilant about suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.
The NYPD is also reminding drivers to always lock their car doors and to never leave valuables or personal items in plain sight inside their vehicles. By taking these simple steps, drivers can help reduce the risk of car theft and keep their vehicles and belongings safe.