- A few e-scooter models were observed communicating with the rider’s smartphone device via a Bluetooth Low Energy channel.
- In addition to this, it is suspected that threat actors can easily gain personal information of riders and hold a fear of affecting service providers with economic losses.
Let alone smart devices; even micromobility has chances of falling prey to cyber risks.
Slowly yet steadily, micromobility is taking over as a trending personal transportation solution. And the list of vehicles under this category largely includes e-scooters, share bikes, e-skateboards, and more and is an efficient way to glide out of traffic.
However, it is shocking to know that as per a research by the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), e-scooters can be a reason for cybersecurity and privacy risks.
What does the research say?
Computer experts in the research team at UTSA issued the first review concerning the security and privacy-related dangers of using e-scooters (especially related software services and applications), which is considered way beyond risks of accidents. Strange but true.
As per the research, hackers can cause damage with a series of attacks on the systems of these vehicles.
Cyber actors can also try spying on users, and they can trick the GPS systems for misdirection, and carry out data leaks.
“During that study, we also realized that besides significant safety concerns, this new transportation paradigm brings forth new cybersecurity and privacy risks as well,” said Murtuza Jadliwala, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science.
More about user data vulnerability
The research team at UTSA also focused on several vulnerabilities present in the micromobility ecosystem.
The weak links of the systems can be manipulated by threat actors to gain personal information of riders along with monetary damages to service providers.
A few malicious activities might also lead to remotely controlling the vehicle’s behavior and operation.
Additionally, as per the study on service providers, they can collect individual information of the rider. In case such sensitive data is pulled by hackers, it can reveal information such as the rider’s preferred route, home, work locations, and more.
So, even with micromobility, it is time to stay vigilant and work on strengthening the security systems.
As Jadliwala claimed, “Cities are experiencing explosive population growth. Micromobility promises to transport people in a more sustainable, faster, and economical fashion.”