TikTok: Challenge forces Hyundai and Kia to update anti-theft software

TikTok: Challenge forces Hyundai and Kia to update anti-theft software

This week the companies Hyundai y Kia released software updates to prevent more people from stealing their units in the wake of ‘challenges’ born in TikTok.

The patch released this Monday is available for one million selected cars, but reports refer that 4 million will eventually need this fix.

The dangers of TikTok

‘Kia Challenge’ and ‘Kia Boys’ are challenges that appeared during previous months on the social network TikTok.

In these videos, users used USB cables to start hacking the cars’ systems in order to turn them on and use them without major calcences.

In July we reported that en Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the trend appears to have begun, model thefts Hyundai y Kia account for 66% of auto thefts, growing by 2,500% compared to last year.

Because of this, car owners began to sue the manufacturers for a response to this massive hacking. For example, a class action lawsuit claimed that both brands lacked engine immobilizers, a common device that prevents car theft.

What does the update consist of?

Owners of cars of affected models such as 2017-2020 Elantra, 2015-2019 Sonata and 2020-2021 Venue can visit a local dealer to install the anti-theft upgrade.

The updates include an anti-theft sticker to deter an attack, a longer alarm and the need for a physical key, rather than just pressing the ignition, to start the vehicle. Updates for other affected vehicles will be available in June.

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Kayleigh Williams