These Two Hackers Can Remotely Control Over 400,000 FCA Vehicles

Technology / 15 Comments

They managed to stop a 2014 Jeep dead on the freeway.

The auto industry embraces new technology like no other. Unfortunately with new tech comes new problems. A lot of new cars are connected to the Internet, and just about anything connected to the Internet can be hacked into. This was just proven by hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. The two managed to hack into a 2014 Jeep Cherokee being driven by Wired writer Andy Greenberg. Once the two were in they started messing with the tech scribe while he drove along a St. Louis freeway.

Check the video out to see Greenberg's reaction to having his accelerator disabled while driving. Yeah, they did that.

Miller and Valasek hacked a car Greenberg was driving a few years ago, but that was from the backseat. This time they did it from the comfort of their own home, first by getting into the car's Uconnect entertainment center. Once there they simply rewrote the firmware in the entertainment center to allow them to send commands to the car's mechanical components via its internal computer. The pair estimates there are 471,000 FCA cars vulnerable to this type of hacking. In addition to taking control of the car they can also track it over the Sprint cellular network; Uconnect goes through the cellphone company's wireless network.

Miller and Valasek let FCA know what they were up to and the automaker issued a patch accordingly. (Yeah, FCA is pissed.) Still, that patch needs to be physically downloaded and installed which could be an issue with some drivers who aren't very tech-savvy. The hackers plan to reveal more info at the upcoming Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

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