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You are here: Home >>Mobile Security Systems >> What is Car Whisperer

What is Car Whisperer? 

What is Car Whisperer?
The Car Whisperer is a software tool developed by security researchers to connect to and send or receive audio to and from Bluetooth car-kits with a specific implementation. An individual using the tool could potentially remotely connect to and communicate with a car from an unauthorized remote device, sending audio to the speakers and receiving audio from the microphone in the remote device. 

Without specialized equipment, someone using the tool must be within a 10 meter range of the targeted car while running a laptop with the Car Whisperer tool. The security researchers’ goal was to highlight an implementation weakness in a select number of Bluetooth car-kits and pressure manufacturers to better secure Bluetooth devices.



How can I tell if my car kit or car is vulnerable to the Car Whisperer?
To be accessed by the Car Whisperer tool, the car-kit needs to be continuously in pairing mode, have a standard fixed four digit PIN code, and not be connected to a phone. If a user consistently has a phone paired with the car kit, an unauthorized device cannot connect to the car kit. Concerned individuals, whose car kits are continuously in pairing mode and have a standard fixed four digit PIN code (i.e. 0000 or 1234), should contact the manufacturer directly for more information on the vulnerability of their devices and to obtain applicable software upgrades for their car-kits.



Is Bluetooth wireless technology susceptible to hackers in other ways?
Currently, the attacks listed on this page are the only known possibilities for hacking into a limited amount of products on the market, if appropriate measures are taken such as having security turned on and using reasonably long PIN codes or pairing devices in private. The Bluetooth SIG continues to study security risks associated with the technology and determine their viability as the technology spreads and develops.


What can consumers do to protect their data?
Consumers can do a number of things to protect their data. If users have a phone that is vulnerable to bluesnarfing or bluebugging, they should contact the phone's manufacturer or take the phone to a manufacturer authorized service point. The manufacturers of the vulnerable devices have developed software patches to fix the vulnerability. In addition, if users are still concerned about a device being targeted, they can turn the device to non-discoverable mode when not using Bluetooth wireless technology and in unknown areas. Users can also ensure their data is secure by not "pairing" with unknown devices. If a user were to receive an invitation to pair with another device, and asked to put in a PIN code, but was unsure of what device was inviting to pair, the user should not pair. Only pair with known devices.


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