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Cyberattack on Jeep highlights mystery death at wheel of US reporter

on July 23 2015 | in Highlights, Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

The hackers who dialed into the on-board computer of a Jeep Cherokee from 16km away and took control of some of its functions is just another example of how vulnerable modern high-tech cars are to cyberattacks.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee ended up in a ditch

The Jeep Cherokee ended up in a ditch

Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek used a laptop and mobile phone to wirelessly turn on full blast the Jeep’s radio, air-conditioning, and windscreen wipers, cut out the engine, apply the brakes, crash it into a ditch … all while a picture of themselves looked out from the Jeep’s digital display to show they were remotely in charge of the car. Reporter’s fiery death at the wheel: was it a cyberattack? The same researchers cyberattacked a petrol-electric Toyota Prius two years ago, this time sitting in the back seat and using laptops to take control of the car away from the driver. They had earlier received an US$80,000-plus grant from a US Government agency to root out security vulnerabilities in automobiles.
Valasek (left) and Miller at last year's Black Hat conference

Valasek (left) and Miller at last year’s Black Hat conference

Miller, an ex-staffer at the US National Security Agency, and Valasek claim that Jeep makers Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect system is particularly vulnerable to cyberattack. UConnect is on-board internet-capable software built into hundreds of thousands of the company’s vehicles since 2013, All hackers have to do, the researchers said, is work out each car’s IP address. But the UConnect system Miller and Valasek penetrated is for the American market only. Fiat Chrysler NZ said in a statement: “No vehicles in New Zealand nor any international market outside of the USA are affected by this issue. It is an American-only version of the UConnect system.” yohimbe vs cialis Miller and Valasek teamed with Andy Greenberg, a writer with tech website Wired. Greenberg drove the Jeep Cherokee on public roads in St Louis, Missouri. Miller and Valasek will present their findings at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month. Greenberg said the the most disturbing manoeuvre came when Miller and Valasek cut the Jeep’s brakes – “leaving me frantically pumping the pedal as the two-tonne SUV slid uncontrollably into a ditch,” he said. “The researchers say they’re working on perfecting their steering control – for now they can only hijack the wheel when the Jeep is in reverse. “Their hack enables surveillance too: They can track a targeted Jeep’s GPS co-ordinates, measure its speed, and even drop pins on a map to trace its route.” The incident is the latest car-hacking episode and has rekindled the suspicious circumstances in which top generic 5 mg cialis American investigative reporter Michael Hastings died at the wheel in Hollywood in June, 2013.  

What happened to the Toyota Prius when Miller and Valasek took control


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