Nissan pulls companion app after car hack flaw is revealed online

Nissan has disabled a companion app for its line of Leaf electric cars after it was discovered it could be hacked and used to control features on the car.

The removal comes after a security expert reported the issue to the Japanese car maker, which revolves around a flaw in the software that means hackers could run down a Leaf’s battery and see data about recent journeys.

Nissan denied there was a safety issue, but did also confirm its eNV200 electric vans were also vulnerable to the flaw.

“The NissanConnect EV app – formerly called CarWings – is currently unavailable,” the car maker said in a statement.

“This follows information from an independent IT consultant and a subsequent internal Nissan investigation that found the dedicated server for the app had an issue that enabled the temperature control and other telematics functions to be accessible via a non-secure route.

“No other critical driving elements of the Nissan Leaf or eNV200 are affected, and our 200,000-plus Leaf and eNV200 drivers across the world can continue to use their cars safely and with total confidence.”

Troy Hunt, the security researcher who reported the problem to Nissan, went public with a blog on the issue after discovering it was being discussed in online forums.

The flaw meant hackers could access information about Leafs without verifying themselves as owners of the car. Instead access was granted when simply providing a car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), which is engraved into the windscreen of cars and be relatively easy to locate online, Mr Hunt said.

He added that the flaw could be used to control the car’s heating and air conditioning by sending commands via a web browser, but since it would not work when the car was moving or have an impact on the steering controls, it was unlikely to threaten people’s lives.

More in this Section

Chile protests continue after government backs down on fare hikeChile protests continue after government backs down on fare hike

Serious Fraud Office closes Libor rigging investigationSerious Fraud Office closes Libor rigging investigation

Johnson insists EU free trade agreement can be struck amid no-deal Brexit fearsJohnson insists EU free trade agreement can be struck amid no-deal Brexit fears

IDA Ireland: Era of optimism with growth evident in all sectorsIDA Ireland: Era of optimism with growth evident in all sectors


It’s the personal stories from Bruce Springsteen that turn his new ‘Western Stars’ documentary into something special, the director tells Esther McCarthy.Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

Apart from the several variations in its spelling in Irish and English, Inishtubbrid, Co Clare is also recognised by three other names: Wall’s Island; O’Grady’s Island and Inishtubber which surely puts it up there as the island with most names — not counting say Inisvickillane, Co Kerry which has about 33 variations to that spelling.The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

More and more communities and volunteers are taking on environmental tasks around the country. In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, for example, people have united to get rid of Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant, from the banks of the River Suir.‘Bashing’ invasive plants

Halloween has become a consumer fest in recent years but there are a number of ways to reduce costs and waste — and make itHappy sustainable Halloween: Don’t be horrified with the waste at Halloween

More From The Irish Examiner