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Jul 30

Is Someone Else Driving Your Car?

JeepIf you drive a late version vehicle, driver-assist technology currently operates a great deal of it on your behalf. Yet if that car is hooked up to the internet also, as many are, you could be giving a scary level of control to hackers.

A pair of computer jocks have put on a remarkable demonstration by logging right into a Jeep Cherokee’s computer system from another location, while it was being operated and methodically taking control of the automobile’s functions. First, they hit him with freezing air from the air-conditioning system, then they blasted him through the stereo at full volume. They also beamed an image of themselves to the automobile’s computer screen as well as turning on the windshield wipers at maximum speed, at the same time as squirting cleansing fluid onto the windscreen making it hard to see.

However these were merely warmups to the main event– subsequently, they took control of the motor and turned it off totally, leaving the driver powerless and drifting on the freeway as traffic flashed past all around him. Then, as soon as he was off the freeway, they demonstrated how they might entirely take control of the brakes as well as the steering of the vehicle– only at slow-moving speeds and backwards this time, but they’re working on uncovering new exploits each day.

The two computer jocks, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, had formerly demonstrated comparable abilities when plugged into an auto’s on-board diagnostics port, however this time around they broke in from their own room, making use of an exploit they’ve identified in the Jeep’s internet-enabled entertainment system. They think it’s an exploit that ought to work on most internet-connected late design Chryslers – all they need is the automobile’s IP address and they’re in. Scary stuff!