We are used to pressing a button on our key fob to turn on, unlock and, in some cases, start our car. All functions are due to a remote connection to the manufacturer’s network. Recently, some Kia owners have experienced problems with remote start and any online services. Kia is pretending to be cool, but hackers have reportedly cornered it and are demanding millions of dollars in bitcoins. If someone can’t hack your car the old fashioned way, they’ll steal it online.
Will Kia pay $20,000,000 bitcoin ransom to a hacker?
Drive reports that Kia’s online services are not working everywhere. This not only affects Kia’s websites and bill payments, but also some Kia owners who could not remotely start their car through the Kia app. According to initial reports, Kia was the victim of a massive cyber attack – and that it was ransomware.
A sleeping computer signals a group of cybercriminals; the DopplePaymer gang turns out to be behind the digital blockade. This is the same group that invested in Tesla and SpaceX last year. As if blocking Kia’s digital services wasn’t enough, the hackers have also demanded an unknown amount of data from Kia, which they threaten to release if the ransom is not paid. Since Kia doesn’t know exactly what data was stolen by the hackers, or how much, this could be particularly devastating for the South Korean automaker. Although the attack was aimed at parent company Hyundai, only Kia seems to have been affected.
Kia received a withdrawal.
The Sleeping Computer shared a photo of Kia’s ransom note, which is indeed creepy. As with any thief, it’s upsetting that someone has entered your home (digitally in this case), free to do as they please. The ransom note demands 404 bitcoins by a certain date or else confidential information will be released. If the ransom is not paid by then, it will be increased to 600 bitcoins, or about $30 million in fiat currency.
The Kia logo | Scott Olson/Getty Images
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It is not yet clear how much data was stolen in the attack, but the thieves claim it was a large amount. Sleepy Computer’s report shows that the hackers are using a fairly large network that collects all kinds of data, both corporate and personal, through which services the attack impacts.
Disk contacted Kia for a comment on the matter. A Kia spokesman said Kia had a prolonged system malfunction, but did not specify the reason for the failure.
A Kia spokesman went on to say: The systems involved are the KiaOwnersPortal, UVO’s mobile applications and the consumer web portal. We apologize for the inconvenience experienced by affected customers and are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to our operations.
Why are hackers not mentioned?
Well, it turns out that Kia did. A spokesman for the Drive newspaper gave the following quote: We are also aware of online speculation that Kia is undergoing a ransomware attack. At this time, we can confirm that we have no indication that Kia or Kia data has been affected by a ransomware attack. Looks like we’re getting somewhere.
Although Kia continues to deny evidence of a cyber attack, all signs point to this theory. Kia owners are still having problems releasing keys, paying for vehicle titles online, and dealers can’t process sales. The situation has become a mess, and currently there is only one clear, but expensive, solution to the problem.
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