Two computer-security researchers demonstrated they could take control of a moving Jeep Cherokee using the vehicle’s wireless communications system, raising new questions about the safety of Internet-connected cars.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, owner of the Jeep brand, on Tuesday blasted the researchers for disclosing their ability to hack into the sport-utility vehicle’s software and manipulate its air conditioning, stereo controls and control its speed by disabling the transmission from a laptop many miles away.
The hackers, one of whom works for Twitter Inc. and is a former analyst for the National Security Agency, counter they are bringing attention to an issue auto makers have for too long ignored.
Nearly all modern automobiles, not just those manufactured by Fiat Chrysler, feature computer controls that are potential targets for hackers.
The problem has caught the attention of most major car companies. General Motors Co. , for example, has been working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on ways to protect the loads of data that a vehicle carries, and fortify a car’s control system from outside tampering.....
The two hackers, Charlie Miller, a Twitter employee based in St. Louis, and Chris Valasek, a director at the security firm IOActive, demonstrated in an article and video published in technology magazine Wired their ability to wirelessly access a vehicle’s systems. The researchers, who have been probing vulnerabilities in connected automobiles for years, previously could only take over a car by hacking from a laptop connected by cable to a moving vehicle.
Messrs. Miller and Valasek have kept some of the flaws they uncovered under wraps to prevent copy cats from wreaking havoc on the highway. But they do show in a video that they can effectively disengage a car’s transmission or, when it is moving at slower speeds, its brakes. The two researchers say they will show more details during a talk at the Black Hat hacker conference next month. Rest of article.