Security experts have discovered a vulnerability in Xiaomi’s e-scooter. It could be very dangerous for the rider.
The vulnerability allows an attacker to take control of the e-scooter via Bluetooth. If someone is currently riding the e-scooter, such an attack could have serious consequences – if not life-threatening ones. Experts warn of the gap in this product and similar gaps in other products. In a video published on the internet, the discoverers of the gap demonstrate the possibilities. A man stands near a red traffic light and watches the e-scooter riders. With a model that can be hacked, he pulls out the smartphone and activates the theft lock. When the traffic light changes to green, the owner of the e-scooter no longer comes from the spot.
An attacker could use the gap to issue commands to the Xiaomi Scooter from a distance of up to 100 meters via Bluetooth while his owner is riding on it. In this way, the e-scooter could be prompted to activate the anti-theft protection immediately. Depending on how fast the e-scooter rider is traveling, this could end in a serious accident. The gap could also be used to transfer new, manipulated firmware to the e-scooter. The attacker could then take full control of the vehicle and control it as required. A third alternative would be that the attacker could target an e-scooter and gain access to its acceleration and braking.
Xiaomi Cannot Offer A Solution
The experts turned to Xiaomi and confronted the company with their results. What is frightening is that the vulnerability was apparently already known. As news write, Xiaomi is currently unable to fix the problem itself. The reason for this: The Bluetooth interface comes from a third-party provider who has to take care of the gap itself. This gap is a serious problem for e-scooter rental companies in particular: In the USA, their scooters are on every street corner. If the European countries also confirm the approval, we will see a similar picture. Attacking could calmly manipulate the scooters.
Private owners, on the other hand, don’t have to worry so much: In order for hackers to have access to the e-scooter, they have to be a short distance from the scooter for several minutes. Because the Bluetooth connection must not be interrupted. A short stop at the traffic lights will not be enough.