Not many people are aware of how easy it is for hackers to access the functions of modern cars and this video will hopefully serve as a wake-up call for automakers to improve security of their increasingly connected vehicles.
With the help of hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, Wired Magazine demonstrated that the latest generation Jeep Cherokee has major security vulnerabilities.
Using only their laptops and an internet connection, hackers remotely accessed all the Cherokee’s functions, including vital ones like steering, braking, transmission and so on.
Using software that lets them send commands through the Jeep’s entertainment system, the hackers played with the car driven by editor Andy Greenberg, accessing the air-conditioning, radio and windshield wipers, before moving on to more sensitive stuff like killing the engine, transmission or the brakes.
So how was this possible? We won’t get into details (the report has them all), but it’s all because of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Uconnect, an Internet-connected computer feature that controls the vehicle’s entertainment and navigation, allows taking and making phone calls and offers a Wi-Fi hot spot.
The hackers found a vulnerable element in the system that basically lets anyone who knows the car’s IP address gain access from anywhere in the country. The entire chilling experiment is detailed in the following video.