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Six Kia Boys Caught Hacking a Hyundai Arrested After Hollywood-Style Police Hunt | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


The Kia Boys craze that started more than two years ago is far from coming to an end, despite Hyundai and Kia already rolling out anti-theft patches.

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Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/6abc

It’s clear already that not all owners installed the software update, so their vehicles remain vulnerable to the ridiculously simple hack that requires only a USB cable. The method, which went viral on TikTok, allows thieves to start an unpatched Hyundai or Kia using a USB cord because of the lack of immobilizers.

Thieves typically break the window, start the engine, and drive away, eventually crashing the cars before they’re caught by the police. The trend started with teenagers trying to get Internet views but eventually became a massive problem when the hack put a target on the back of every Hyundai and Kia.

It happened again last week in Radnor, Pennsylvania, where the local police managed to arrest not one, not two, but six South Jersey teenagers who were part of the Kia Boys gang.

Officers on duty received a call for an attempted car break-in, and upon arriving at the scene, they spotted a silver Hyundai existing the parking lot. It didn’t take long for a chase to begin, as the teenager behind the wheel believed he could escape the cops.

The chase ended exactly as anyone could anticipate. The car crashed and became disabled, so the police started the chase on foot. One by one, every teenager involved in the stunt got caught, including three girls who tried to hide in the woods. Another teenager was spotted and eventually arrested on the side of the road, while two others were found in a nearby 7-Elevent.

The teens are aged 13 to 17, with the police explaining that the group was responsible for several other car break-ins, all involving Hyundai and Kia models. They used the infamous Kia Boys hack that went viral on TikTok, targeting cars that did not receive the anti-theft patch.

That’s why the carmakers urge all owners to go to the nearest dealership to install the software update. Once the patch is deployed, the Kia Boys can no longer start the engine, preventing them from driving away in the car. They’ll probably still break a window, believing the vehicle is vulnerable to the hack.

Hyundai and Kia give away stickers to tell potential thieves that the vehicle has already been patched. In some cases, the car manufacturers give away steering wheel locks to owners whose cars are not eligible for the software update.

Police recommend owners to install these locks even if the vehicle is patched. Other safety methods that could help Hyundai and Kia owners protect their vehicles from thieves include GPS trackers and AirTags. Police emphasize car owners must report the theft the second they notice the vehicle is missing.

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