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Author: Janet Kathalu
Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?



Bluetooth hacking is one of the most familiar hacks that hackers use. If you are a car owner, you must take precautions to keep your car safe from hackers. I want to keep myself and my car safe; that's why I researched and wrote this article to guide you into Bluetooth hacks and other different forms of hacks hackers use. 

There are a few steps you can follow to hack your car's Bluetooth;

  • Detach and disassemble the radio
  • Check the motherboard
  • Locate the audio input basics
  • Get the components required for hacking
  • Fix the AUX input at the stereo chip
  • Close up the radio
  • Power up the Bluetooth module

Once you are done with each step, you can connect your device to your Bluetooth.

After a successful hack to your Bluetooth, do you know hackers can use other parts of your car to hack into your vehicle? They can also hack it remotely using the same features. For the safety of yourself and your vehicle, you should take specific measures to ensure that your car is safe from hackers. Read on to know more about hacks. 

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?

A Bluetooth is a category of wireless communication that utilizes radio frequencies to link to various devices. After connecting, it transmits data to the Bluetooth devices.

Hackers use specialized software which detects devices with Bluetooth connections. Tampering with your Bluetooth can have many repercussions, such as exposing vital information to hackers to control the screen or apps.

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?

There is also a possibility that they will get personal data like credit card details. They can still use your Bluetooth connections to make transactions, make pay-per-minute contacts, redirect or intercept calls. Worse, they can get your bank details.

Many options are available for adding extra input into your vehicle's Radio, which is hacking your Bluetooth. These options require an attachment cable to your phone or use a tape input or FM transmitter. I want to give you a solution whereby your phone and the audio will play directly into the car, just like the modest Tesla.

This article will guide you on how to hack into your car's Bluetooth and upgrade your car radio by creating an extra Bluetooth receiver in the radio factory. Below are the tools you need to hack into your car's Bluetooth;

  • A car stereo with a CD player or cassette tape player.
  • Bluetooth receiver module, it doesn't have to be the expensive ones. A cheaper one will deliver the same results.
  • An electrical tape
  • A screwdriver
  • 2x 10ouF capacitor
  • LM78Mo5 5v output 0.5Amp linear regulator

Before hacking, check that your device has a microphone plus an A2DP protocol for more direct interaction with your smartphone. Use your screwdriver to detach it apart and find the major components.

Below are the parts you will find in the detached speaker;

  • Microphone
  • Micro USB charging port
  • Antenna
  • Amplifier stage
  • Bluetooth receiver
  • Pre-amp stage
  • Li-Po bat connector

You will need an antenna, a pre-amp stage, a microphone, and a receiver module for the hacking. 

Step 1:The hack process 

Follow these steps to hack into your Bluetooth.

  • Remove the battery from J2.
  • Place a 2200hm dummy load across a J2 terminal-this will represent a tiny dummy bat charging pack.
  • Attach a 6inch pair of wires (twisted) at the pre-amp output: This will deliver audio to the vehicle's amplifier.
  • Remove the PCB microphone, which is already extended with the 6inch wire, and mount it at the car's amplifier tape door.
  • Attach the 5v linear regulator to the micro-USB connector; this will help power the module in the car amplifiers. Place two 10uF capacitors between Vin and Ground plus Vout and Ground for local bypass.
  • Connect a pair of 24AWG wires to a 5v linear regulator and ground to get power from the vehicle's amplifier.

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?

You should remove the battery from the speaker by disconnecting it from J2. When testing, you might experience a small volume when you turn up the sound button; you can add an extra 2200hm to replace the battery.

A more excellent capacitor bypassing the initially used may be a good idea, but the resistor is the quick fix. The pre-amp output for adding the wires can be hard to locate; use a multimeter and be on the lookout for it via a 3300hm resistor plus the ceramic capacitor. Place one wire at the resistor and the other at the capacitor.

Remove the wires at the microphone and replace them with a twisted 3oAWG wire. Use a pair of ¼ heat shrink tube pieces to cover the joint to avoid short.

Step 2: How to attach the module to the Radio

Take off the cover from the unit, remove the tape cassette module, find the tape output signals on the module (right channel, left channel, signal ground). Find the 12v power supply voltage at the primary amplifier board.

Remove the capacitors so that the tape head will not compete for the signal. Now you will only be remained with the Bluetooth signal to deliver audio to the car amplifier after choosing the tape input.

Get rid of the springs to make sure the tape mechanism is well adjusted; the single pole and double throw should be open-this will aid in making the tape deck think tape is present. You can now have the Bluetooth on top of a tape mechanism after having the electrical tape at the back of the circuit board.

Step 3: How to add an external Microphone

To add an external mic, you must mount it in the stable door. Get a drill with a significant diameter than the microphone and drill it in the tape door. Mount the microphone using electrical tape. You can add a little foam behind the microphone to direct more sound.

Types of Bluetooth hacks

Bluetooth connections came to exist a few decades ago, and malicious people have found several ways to abuse them. Here are several types of Bluetooth hacks that you should be wary of;

Car whisperer They use the Bluetooth PIN code to spy on the car's occupants. They can listen to conversations and even talk to people inside. 
Bluejacking Hackers use the Bluetooth connection to get into your smartphone and send unidentified texts to nearby devices. 
Blue bugging Hackers can manage to control your device with this hack completely. They can get all the data on your device and even listen to calls. 
Location tracking Intercepts the devices connected to your Bluetooth to get your location. 
Bluesnarfing It's a hack whereby your information is stolen, such as texts, emails, photos, calendars, and videos. They do this while you are within the range of the connected Bluetooth.
Blue Borne attacks Hacker gets access to control your device via infection in the malware. This infection, later on, spreads to all devices which connects to the device.

Bluetooth hack tools

Bluesniff It is a GUI-based utility used for locating hidden and discoverable Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Bluescanner  It helps search for enabled Bluetooth devices and get as much information from them as possible.
Bluebugger Exploits the device's vulnerability and gets access to images, contacts, texts, and personal data. 
Bluedividing It tests Bluetooth penetration to help in hacks such as blue-snarf and blue-bug.
Blue-snarfer It makes it possible for Bluetooth to connect to your device without knowing if your Bluetooth is on.

 

Can a car be hacked?

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?

Keeping your vehicle secure doesn't mean that you have to hide things, lock doors, close windows, turn off the alarm, and think of the security threats; hackers. Your car can be hacked; with the latest technology, everything can.

The greatest fear of car owners is cybercriminals. Automotive crimes involve a lot of burglary and illegal vending of spare parts. Car hacking falls under the majorly performed vehicle crimes. A hacker will use the weakness of a software program, car's hardware, computer networks such as a communication system to his advantage.

Cyber-attacks have become more rampant due to many provisions in the latest car models, superior infotainment systems, and additional safety features. Cars have been upgraded to look more like computers. They fall at a considerable risk of hacking, viruses, bugs, and phishing.

Possible ways hackers attack cars

Vehicles have become like moving computers, and hacking has become rampant. Self-drive cars and those with modern features such as lane assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic brakes are more prone to hackers, but that doesn't mean other vehicles are not at risk; any car can be hacked.

Here are a few ways hackers can access your car and make it hard for you to drive it, read on;

Vehicle diagnostic

Vehicle diagnostic can happen if you take your car for repair or service; some dealers and repair shops can be malicious enough to hack and manipulate the onboard vehicle diagnostics system.

Keyless remote

Hackers can quickly get into your car via the signal of the car's keyless remote-this can be done by boosting the signal along with a critical fob via the radio repeater.

Phishing texts

They can get access through the car's Wi-Fi system, Sharing malicious links through your phone in your email linking to the car's Wi-Fi.

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?

Disabling brake

They deactivate the brakes or, worse, take over the steering as it moves; they do this through the microprocessors in the onboard computer. In such an instance, the vehicle comes standstill without involving the brakes: This can be dangerous and cause an accident.

MP3 malware

The music downloads you listen to could hack the vehicle; how? They could be having malware codes that get in the vehicle's infotainment system and move to other systems as well.

Windshield wipers

They use the windshield wipers to intimidate the passengers in the car by suddenly activating them. On top of that, this inconveniences the driver's ability to see the road correctly.

Phone access

When hackers hack your car, they are indeed after something, and they could be interested in your financial information, passwords, credit cards data. So they get into the vehicle's system and hack the connected smartphone instead.

Throttle

Hackers can mess up the vehicle's acceleration via the power locking system. In addition, they can bring inadvertent acceleration via sending signals to the car's CAN bus.

Air conditioning

Hackers can take charge of the car's ventilation, seat warmers, or heater, making passengers uncomfortable.

Radio

Once they have gained access to the radio, you will not be able to turn up or turn down the stereo. You will not also be able to turn on or off the radio. They do this to distract a driver as they plan for more extensive hacks.

GPS coordinates

Through the Wi-Fi hotspots, hackers can get to know the model and make of your car. It is also possible for them to get the IP address of the vehicle's computer system, with all this following the vehicle's location via its GPS.

OBD II dongle

Insurance companies use On-Board Diagnostics II dongle to track how you are driving your car. The OSD is kept close to the steering; therefore, hackers can access the vehicle's system by accessing the OBD via the car's Bluetooth.

Tire pressure

They can tamper with the diagnostic system plus the tire pressure monitor systems, which alert the driver on the condition of the tires, offering warnings on time to get the tires serviced. When they are hacked, they can take charge of the car's digital display and remotely monitor the vehicle. 

Can a car be hacked remotely?

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?

You may think that it is rocket science to hack a car, but it's not; all it takes is just a little time, wifi, and a laptop. Modern cars are computers on the road. Your car can be hacked from miles away. They can make your car obey them and not you.
Hackers hack your vehicle to track your moves, get vital information about you, ask for ransom, activism, or to challenge you.

Parts of a car that can be hacked remotely;

  • Air conditioning
  • Windshield wipers
  • Digital display
  • Brakes
  • Radio
  • Wiper fluid
  • Transmission

Brakes and transmission are scary, as they can render your car undrivable or as useless as scrap metal. Remote hacking happens in different stages, and it would be wise to try and avoid it in the following measures;

  • Secure all the remote endpoints
  • Make it impossible for hackers to get CAN messages
  • Monitor your car, ECU's message rate, check OBD II operating pattern, etc. 
    Have your defense multi-staged.

How to prevent my car from being hacked

The thought of someone hacking your car must be frightening, and there are a few measures you can use to keep your car safe from hackers for your peace of mind. They are;

Update your software

Your car is not like your phone, where you think you can delay an update for a day or two. It would help if you always kept the software updated. Manufacturers clear the bugs and improve on vulnerabilities via updates. Updating will save you much safer as you drive and chase hackers off.

Share your vehicle with people you trust

Don't lend your car to anybody, and discretion is vital for cars. You may lend it to someone who has malicious motives, and they end up hacking it.

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?

Don't use your key remotely.

It is highly advised to forget about the remote key, use the lock button, and do it manually: This will prevent hackers from getting any slight opportunity to hack in.

Don't register on just any discount programs.

You may find that some car dealers or insurance companies reward their customers with discounted programs whereby you have to plug a monitoring device (dongle) in the ODB II ports before you can qualify.

Some of those device4s have no security technology. You might up hacking your car yourself. Before enrolling in any discount program, investigate it first.

Scan USB devices before use

Make sure you have used anti-virus software to scan USB devices before linking them to your vehicle, such as AVG. AVG also can keep your wifi password well hidden: not stored anywhere in the car.

Bluetooth hacks: How to hack a car's Bluetooth?

Turn both wifi and Bluetooth off.

Any time you are not driving, turn off your Bluetooth and wifi. Hackers primarily use them to get access to your car. By any chance, don't dare use public wifi; read more on what's wrong with using public wifi. 

Make use of the aluminum foil.

The idea of wrapping your key fob with foil paper when not using it sounds creepy, but well, it helps a lot in minimizing any hacker's chances of getting a ping. This method will block the electromagnetic signals in the daylight. You can opt for a Faraday bag, but foil paper still saves the day.

Beware of third-party devices.

Your car is well equipped with a diagnostic port, OBD II, that was well tested by qualified technicians. Why would you need to add any other plug-in device? Many of these third-party devices use the same ports, leaving high chances of access to your data and car's software.

It would be good to investigate any device before thoroughly purchasing it. Buy from known companies, and stay away from second-hand machines.

Keep your keyless fob in a fridge.

There's a logic behind it. When metals surround your fob keeps the hackers from detecting signals. You can also place the fob in a metal box, and it works the same.

Get yourself defense gear

An outdated steering wheel lock will deter hackers from stealing and hacking your vehicle. You can invest in a kill switch or tire locks.

Precautions to take if you suspect your vehicle has been hacked

  1. Check for the car's software update-you can check through your manufacturer's website if there are any latest updates.
  2. Contact the NHTSA-this agency also works towards improving automobile safety from a cybersecurity perspective.
  3. Contact your car's manufacturer-talk to them and explain your observation and worries, and maybe they may be able to help you out.

Conclusion

Bluetooth is a vital part of your part, it's not wise to mess with it, and it can be easily hacked. Hackers target it primarily. You now know how it can be hacked and how to keep hackers away. Also, it's not just Bluetooth that hackers are after; they can hack your car through any other part in it. We have highlighted measures to ensure your vehicle is safe and what to do if you suspect a possible hack.

 

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