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Your BMW just downloaded a security patch

Your BMW just downloaded a security patch
Timothy J. Seppala
Timothy J. Seppala|@timseppala|January 31, 2015 4:39 AM

Have a BMW, Mini or Rolls Royce with the ConnectedDrive feature parked in your driveway? Maybe all three? Well, it turns out there was a bug that allowed ne'er-do-wells to manipulate it -- entirely wirelessly. According to Reuters, by simulating a fake phone network researchers at German outfit ADAC (essentially Deutschland's AAA) were able to gain access to systems governed by the platform's SIM card by spoofing a cell tower. They've even put together a video describing the gap in security which you can check out after the break -- if you speak German. While the vulnerabilities didn't include anything related to steering, acceleration or braking, the ConnectedDrive does have access to traffic information, air conditioning and... door locks.

For its part, BMW says it hasn't seen any reports of compromises to vehicle security, and now it's using HTTPS to encrypt all data transmissions. Perhaps best of all? Owners of the 2.2 million affected vehicles didn't need to hit the dealership for this patch -- it was already delivered over the air. The update pushed automatically once the system connected to BMW's servers recently, but those who keep a car stored may want to hop in and hit the "Update Services" button. Good thing, because taking all three of your rides in for service (like they did in 2012 to fix a problem with the ODB port that thieves actually used to steal cars, and as of 2014 were still using on unpatched vehicles) would probably be kind of inconvenient.

Affected models:


1 Series Convertible, Coupé and Touring (E81, E82, E87, E88, F20, F21)
2er Active Tourer, Coupé and Convertible (F22, F23, F45)
3 with Convertible, Coupe, GT, Touring and M3 (E90, E91, E92, E93, F30, F31, F34, F80)
4p Coupe, Convertible, Gran Coupe and M4 (F32, F33, F36, F82, F83)
5 Series GT and Touring (F07, F10, F11, F18)
6 Series Gran Coupe Convertible (F06, F12, F13)
7 Series (F01, F02, F03, F04)
I3 (I01), I8 (I12)
X1 (E84), X3 (F25), X4 (F26) X 5 (E70, F15, F85), X6 (E71, E72, F16, F86), Z 4 (E89)


Three-door and five-door hatchback (F55, F56)

Rolls Royce

Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe (RR1, RR2, RR3)
Ghost (RR4)
Wrait (RR5)

[Image credit: BMW - AFP/Getty Images, control unit - ADAC / Uwe Rattay]

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Your BMW just downloaded a security patch