Newspaper article International New York Times

Hackers Get Inside a Jeep, Dismaying Fiat Chrysler

Newspaper article International New York Times

Hackers Get Inside a Jeep, Dismaying Fiat Chrysler

Article excerpt

After two years of study, two respected security researchers have discovered a way to control hundreds of thousands of vehicles remotely.

Some cars can now be hacked.

Over the last two years, two well-respected security researchers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, have been hacking away at various cars, trying to find a way to control them remotely.

At the annual Black Hat and Def Con hacking conferences in Las Vegas in August, Mr. Miller and Mr. Valasek plan to demonstrate how, after two years of research, they have discovered a way to control hundreds of thousands of vehicles remotely.

From the Internet, they were able to track cars down by their location, see how fast they were going, turn their blinkers and lights on and off, mess with their windshield wipers, radios, navigation and, in some cases, control their brakes and steering.

Their discovery is several years in the making. In 2013, they described how they could control a Ford and a Toyota by plugging into a diagnostic port that could control steering and speed. But that was of limited use to carmakers, who told them anyone with physical access to the car could just as easily cut the brakes.

So for the last year, the two have been tinkering with a Jeep, seeking a way to control it remotely. What they did not realize at the time was that their discovery would extend beyond the Jeep and affect hundreds of thousands of other vehicles sold by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Their research is likely to be one of the first discoveries in a new chapter of vulnerabilities and attacks directed at the so- called Internet of Things, the billions of products, machinery and infrastructure expected to come online in the next five years. A report from Verizon found that 14 carmakers accounted for 80 percent of the worldwide auto market, and each had a connected-car strategy. …

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