Hackers break into and control Jeep in motion



Professional `White Hat Hackers’ (meaning good guys who know how to break into computer systems), have accelerated and then cut the brakes of a moving Jeep, all via remote whilst several kilometres away.

The hack was part of a proof-of-concept experiment in collaboration with tech publication Wired, and began with well-known security experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek taking remote control of a Jeep Cherokee in motion on a freeway at speeds of 110km/h.

While the pair initially did little more than tinker with the climate control and radio, things quickly escalated, with Miller and Valasek cutting power to the Jeep’s transmission.

‘As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl,’ Wired writer Andy Greenberg said.

‘Miller and Valasek’s full arsenal includes functions that at lower speeds fully kill the engine, abruptly engage the brakes, or disable them altogether,’ he said.

The experiment ended after Miller and Valasek cut the Jeep’s brakes, sending the four-wheel-drive skidding into a ditch.

Miller and Valasek were able to carry out their frightening hack using just a mobile phone and a laptop, thanks to a flaw in the car’s wireless internet connection.

They say up to 470,000 cars made by Fiat Chrysler could be vulnerable.

Fiat Chrysler has issued a patch for the bug, but it can only be applied manually by either visiting a dealership or downloading it to a USB flash drive and plugging it into the car.


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