Commentary

Hackers Remotely Shut Down a Jeep at 70 MPH

There are connected cars and then there are cars that can be ‘disconnected,’ at least from the driver.

In a somewhat on-the-edge experiment published this week, two well-known hackers tapped into a moving Jeep and remotely operated the radio, air conditioning and windshield wipers.

Then, while the car was moving at 70 miles an hour, the car’s acceleration was remotely shut down, leaving the volunteer writer from Wired slowing on a busy highway.

The two hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Vasalek, have been conducting car-hacking research to determine if an attacker could gain wireless control to vehicles via the internet.

They created software code that could send commands through the Jeep’s entertainment system to its dashboard functions, brakes, steering and transmission from a laptop many miles away, according to the first-person account in Wired.

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The timing of the widely reported Jeep experiment is interesting in light of a new privacy bill in congress that would stop car makers from using data collected from vehicles for advertising or marketing.

But the Jeep episode shows that sending unwanted ads to drivers on the move may be the least of the issues.

The silver lining in all of this is that the vulnerabilities in the coming interconnected world of things are being identified and highlighted.

As you might imagine, Fiat Chrysler has issued a software fix that Jeep owners can either download and install or ask a dealer to install it.

Much of the way forward in the Internet of Things is uncharted territory.

There will be more bumps in the road that get identified. Then they can be addressed.
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What to learn more about IoT? Check out the agenda of the upcoming MediaPost IoT: Shopping conference here.

 

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