Much has been said about the threat cyber attacks pose to connected cars, however, there are other significant risks for companies using such vehicles. Many businesses in the automotive industry rely on the new technologies introduced by connected cars and the smart mobility world as their main way to operate. Such businesses include car rental agencies, car leasing companies, and the expanding realm of car sharing companies. Mobile apps enable these companies to operate as they do today, providing modern services, and together with data gathered by connected cars they can track and monitor their vehicle fleets. While these innovations are very beneficial to businesses, they also entail the risks of fraud and misuse which can have a grave impact.
The first danger lurking in car sharing mobile apps is identity theft by hackers who penetrate the real users’ mobile devices. Mobile malware is constantly evolving and infect an ever-increasing number of users. These nefarious threats can completely compromise a mobile device and steal all credentials stored on it, or target a specific app, including car apps, as a Kaspersky research demonstrated all too well. From the moment an attacker obtained your credentials to a car-sharing app or breached it, he can use your account as if it was his own and inflict serious fraud damages upon the car sharing company.
Attackers can also use fake identities to register for Car on Demand services just like they do with any other credit card fraud. With identity leakage incidents like the Equifax breach and a record increase of data breaches in the US in general, hackers can pick whichever stolen identity which suits them from the millions sold on the black market for pennies, and use it to make unauthorized car rides on the victim’s behalf. With card-not-present frauds on the rise, there’s no reason to suspect they will not affect the automotive industry as well.