Future Processing on carjacking – a new security threat smart car

Carjacking – a new security threat?

date: 11 August 2015
reading time: 2 min

We are in the era of Internet of Things, where everything is supposed to think and do things for us. However, there are also negative examples of things acting out on their own – especially when they are in the hands of skilled hackers. This is the moment when technology doesn’t seem appealing anymore.

A few days back Wired published an exclusive report on vulnerabilities of Chrysler vehicles, equipped with Uconnect – which is a multimedia system used in Chrysler vehicles that integrates with your smartphone, has navigation system and synchronises all your media.

The problem with cars’ security was discovered by two security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. As it turns out, Jeep Cherokees are the cars that are most prone to attacks.

What exactly are the problems?

Miller and Valasek showed that they are able to control car’s air conditioning, switch the radio and turn the wipers on. These are, however, relatively harmless things. Researchers also exposed the dark side of car hacking – they hijacked car’s brakes and steering, got its coordinates as well as switched off the engine entirely.

According to Miller and Valasek, there are almost 471,000 vulnerable vehicles on the roads right now. All of them are equipped with Uconnect.

However, even Wi-Fi seems to be enough to make your car susceptible, so the problem is major. So major, that even US senators plan to introduce security bills concerning cars and other vehicles.

If consumers don’t realize this is an issue, they should, and they should start complaining to car-makers. This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone – Miller said.

On 16th of July, Chrysler informed drivers who use Uconnect of the patch that is supposed to make their cars secure. There is one problem though – it must be installed manually by the dealership mechanic. The issue immediately emerges – not all vulnerable vehicles will take advantage of this solution, so they will still be in danger.

I am sure we all appreciate the technology revolution, however there are areas where we must be particularly careful. Especially, when our lives are at stake. Sometimes all you need is just to hit the novelty-brake and be smart.

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