Just How Safe Is Your SUV’s Infotainment System?

You probably don’t think that much about your SUV‘s infotainment system or its security. After all, as long as it works properly, what is there to think about? Yet there are more risks involved with using, or even having an infotainment system that runs on the wireless technology known as Bluetooth. That’s because it isn’t very difficult for hackers to remotely access your SUV or other vehicle and make it do all sorts of things you probably don’t want – including some that are dangerous. Here are some of the risks involved with an infotainment system that utilizes Bluetooth and what’s being done to mitigate these risks.

A vehicle infotainment system.
Vehicle infotainment system | Getty Images

Bluetooth runs your SUV’s infotainment system

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The technology that your SUV’s infotainment system uses to function is Bluetooth, and its security is easily compromised. This is a wireless technology that is widely used because it is inexpensive to implement and use. Besides your infotainment system, Bluetooth may also power your SUV’s keyless entry system, which is another vulnerable area in your vehicle’s security.

So how does Bluetooth work when it comes to your infotainment system? It connects to another device like your smartphone, allowing the two units to communicate with one another. This means you can do things like play your music or get directions via your SUV’s infotainment system. The infotainment system can also be responsible for answering and making phone calls, controlling a video player, and reading text messages.

Bluetooth means that SUVs and other vehicles can be hacked

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As frightening as it may seem, the fact that your SUV or other vehicle is so connected also means that it’s vulnerable to attacks. Motivated hackers can access some vehicles via Bluetooth and gain control over some of its functions, including those vital to the car, like transmission and brakes. Your 2022 SUV’s infotainment system’s security is somewhat tenable.

In fact, in 2015, two hackers famously – and intentionally – hacked a Jeep Cherokee with a willing participant behind the wheel. The hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, were able to get the Jeep Cherokee that Wired writer Andy Greenberg was driving, to do all sorts of unexpected things that no person would want to happen while they were driving. In turn, this led to some safer measures being taken to protect vehicles from attacks. Still, there is a long way to go.

There are a couple of ways to hack your SUV’s security via Bluetooth

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There are a few ways that hackers can access Bluetooth, according to a Webinar on ASRG. One of these is by taking advantage of vulnerabilities in the Bluetooth system itself. These may include bugs that were unintentionally created during the implementation stage of the Bluetooth system.

Hackers may attack Bluetooth by spoofing other devices or using a brute force attack, which means trying until they succeed. One of the biggest risks is that once a hacker can access one device, they can generally access others. That means that thousands of vehicles, if not more, are at risk.

If you’re looking for a new 2022 SUV or car, you should be aware of the security risks that come along with modern technology. Of course, many of the changes add benefit to our lives, but they aren’t without their downsides. And while you probably can’t avoid technology in your new vehicle altogether, you can at least be aware of the dangers that may come along with it.

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