Trucks & SUVs

Warning, The Ford Ranger Is At Risk For Being Hacked

They don’t make them like they used to. Trucks have gone from being simple to work on to having electronic computer chips and all sorts of things that create new problems.

For example, the Ford Ranger is at risk of being hacked! Learn how to protect your truck from cybercriminals. 

2020 Ford Ranger RTR
2020 Ford Ranger RTR | Ford Performance

Your Ford Ranger Could Be Hacked 

The 2020 Ford Ranger is at risk of being hacked during a computer system update that upgrades the system. The update includes a performance upgrade along with a new performance air filter. 

Using the truck’s Wi-fi, researchers looking into the update received the Ford password from the production line along with other data.

APG Ford Ranger Prorunner jumping
APG Ford Ranger Prorunner jumping | APG

By using basic equipment to gain access to the Ford Ranger, as previously done with the Ford Focus, allows hackers to send messages in the system. 

For example, with the Focus, hackers could send messages to the tire pressure monitoring system that said flat tires were fully inflated, creating potentially dangerous situations for drivers. 

Through the FordPass App and Insure App, researchers were able to access the vehicle’s type, direction, location, along with crucial data. 

How Is The Ford Ranger Updated? 

You can update the Ford Ranger with a Pro Cal 4 tool that just received its own software upgrade and a basic computer. 

Use your computer to download the software and then plug it into the Pro Cal 4 tool with a USB cord. 

But unfortunately, this process doesn’t use a closed system. Instead, it connects to a left kick panel and instantly stores your Ford Ranger’s information to a stock file. 

As the software reads computer data codes, it also checks engine parameters and can clear them. It also can configure tire sizes, making the Ranger vulnerable. 

2019 Ford Ranger FX2
2019 Ford Ranger FX2 | Ford

If a hacker got into your truck and set up a weird computer configuration, then your safety could be put at risk the next time you went for a spin. 

FCA Hacker Test 

Back in the day, it was believed that vehicles could never be hacked. But now, with the Ford Focus becoming hacked and the Subaru line facing challenges against hackers, people realize the threat is real. 

Two researchers using an FCA tool and basic equipment wanted to prove how easy it is for geeks to hack into vehicles. 

With an OBD-ll connector and laptop, the hackers accessed internal car data within minutes. They could enable the brakes, disable them, change the speed of the vehicle, and more. 

Ranger Recardo Military Proposal | Ford
Ranger Recardo Military Proposal | Ford

They are also able to get into the infotainment center and access where the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) stores radio frequencies of over-the-air public data storage. 

As technology advances, and it gets easier for hackers to find any vehicle’s system online, there are no standard safeguards put in place. 

Ford uses Forest-Trees Security to protect their vehicles. It helps them remain invisible like they are hidden in plain sight. 

At the moment, Ford isn’t concerned about their vehicles becoming hacked and will take more advanced security measures in the future if needed.