Are Infiniti's the most hackable cars on the market? According to a couple of well versed researchers, yes, yes they are.
Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, both highly intelligent dudes in their own right, made their mark on the automotive media in a big way last year when they demoed a hacked Toyota Prius and Ford Escape.
Of note Miller and Valasek have serious credentials (in case you were wondering), Miller is a security engineer for Twitter and Valasek is director of vehicle security research at IOActive. At the Black Hat security conference just this week the two revealed that certain 'smart' vehicles are more vulnerable than others to getting hacked.
One of those vehicles was the Infiniti Q50.
Before we go any further it is notable that Miller and Valasek did not actually hack the vehicles in question, but based their findings on a methodology instead.
So what makes the Q50 so susceptible to hacking?
As you may know the Q50 was the first to market with full on fly by wire controls (similar to aircraft) and has fallen victim to several problems as a result. Now what makes this type of system so volatile is that its only as strong as its weakest link. So following the path of least resistance will grant you access to the most robust and protected (you would think!) systems embedded in the vehicle.the 2014 Infiniti Q50, which ranges in price from about $37,150 to $45,450, is the “easiest” to hack “because its telematics, Bluetooth, and radio functions all run on the same network as the car's engine and braking systems, for instance, making it easier for an attacker to gain control of the car's computerized physical operations.”
Granted, to gain truly malicious control of a vehicle one would need to rip out the dash and hardwire your laptop in, not exactly surreptitious. Still, the conversation is an interesting one and will continue to be for the foreseeable future!Distances for hacking car features, according to CNN Money, range from one meter away for tire pressure, 5 to 20 meters for smart keys, 10 meters for both Bluetooth and the passive anti-theft system, and 100 meters away to hack the radio data system.