The Age of Hackable Cars

Seriously, that title isn’t science fiction any more. Cars are now so connected that, without solid security implementation, they can be hacked. And that means exactly what you think it does. Today I want to talk about this situation, which was brought to my attention as a result of a safety recall issued by Chrysler. Welcome to the future, folks!

A recent Wired online article details a white-hat attempt to hack a Jeep Cherokee via the UConnect WiFi system. The attempt was successful, and the hacker disabled the brakes, sending the Jeep into a ditch. It’s a rather amusing picture, and a rather frightening situation. The issue, which is correctable by a software update that Chrysler will be sending out via USB, affects 1.4 million Chrysler vehicles with UConnect.

First, consider if you own one of those vehicles. Second, consider that that’s 1.4 million drivers whose computer operated functions, like braking, acceleration, and gear shifting, can be controlled from miles away from any computer. The article in question, if you’d like to stop and read it, was an experiment done from over 10 miles away and gave the hackers access to literally everything connected to the WiFi.

Thankfully, this scenario can be corrected by Chrysler with relative ease, as they are showing by simply sending out a USB update. However, it’s a grim indicator of how much more careful we have to be as we allow technology to seep in to every facet of our lives. While it has a dramatic benefit of creating massive ease in our day-to-day lives, it must be monitored carefully so it doesn’t leave us totally exposed. Otherwise, we may find ourselves at the mercy of a hacker while attempting to enter the highway.

That’s it for today! We’d like to know your thoughts on connected vehicles and connected life. Let us know in the comments below, and make sure you pass this on to a friend. Have an awesome Friday, and we’ll see you next week!

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards branding and content marketing for small business owners.