Internet of Things, Part II: Hacked vehicles

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 07/22/2015 - 09:29

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to roll along merrily, with manufacturers sticking a WiFi chip and a poorly designed single purpose Web server into anything with electricity. That is not so bad. What is bad is the complete and utter disregard for testing for security.

Wired has an article about two guys who showed the magazine that they could remotely take control of a Jeep Cherokee, while it was being driven at highway speed, and do things like honk the horn, turn the wipers on and off, or disable the transmission, among many other functions. In the demonstration, the hackers nearly caused an accident when they disabled the transmission, as the Jeep was no longer in control of the driver, who was barely able to steer it onto the side of the highway without power.

Is this unique to Jeeps? Apparently not, as the article mentions similar shortcomings with Fords and Toyotas.

With the Chinese hack of Federal personnel records (millions of them), it is not a stretch to imagine that taking control of just a few thousand automobiles in the U.S., on major highways during rush hour, could cripple the entire transportation system. But hey! Your iPhone syncs nicely with the car music system, so we got that going for us.

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