'Ring the alarm.
Two popular smart alarm systems for cars had major security flaws that allowed potential hackers to track the vehicles, unlock their doors and, in some cases, cut off the engine.
The vulnerabilities could be exploited with two simple steps, security researchers from Pen Test Partners, who discovered the flaw, said Friday.
The problems were found in alarm systems made by Viper and Pandora Car Alarm System, two of the largest smart car alarm makers in the world. The two brands have as many as 3 million customers between them and make high-end devices that can cost thousands. Like other smart devices, smart car alarms offer people convenience, allowing owners to find their cars from a distance and unlock their doors from their phones.
Pen Test Partners said it reached out to Viper and Pandora in late February and the companies fixed the security issues in less than a week. They had discovered the flaws last October.
In a statement from Directed Electronics, which owns Viper, the company said it didn't believe the vulnerability was used maliciously.
"We immediately worked with our service provider to diagnose and correct this security issue. After investigation, we concluded that this vulnerability was an unintentional result of a recent system update made by our service provider," the company said in a statement.
Pandora did not respond to a request for comment.
Like smart locks, TVs and cameras, smart car alarms are susceptible to cyberattacks and security flaws. The growth of smart devices, which integrate connected technology into everyday devices, has made the internet of things an easy target and created a new type of security threat.'
Read more: Smart alarms left 3 million cars vulnerable to hackers who could turn off motors
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