Weird Wednesday: Your New Biggest Fear Is a Smart Car Hacker

Jul 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm |

Everything today is about cyber security, both at work and at home, but what about in your car? Professional security researchers and devoted hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have been testing a way to hack smart cars and luxury vehicles for several years, and now they’re ready to show off their terrifying might.

Author and journalist Andy Greenberg served as a real-life guinea pig for the hacking experiment, directed this time at a Jeep Cherokee. As he buckled up, Charlie and Chris got comfortable on a couch ten miles away and opened their laptops, giving the simple warning, “Remember, Andy, no matter what happens, don’t panic.” Easy for them to say.

Using an advanced program, the men wirelessly hijacked the Jeep, first by hacking into the car’s wireless or its entertainment system, then rapidly moving into the dashboard, transmission, and even the steering and breaks. Although Andy might have been behind the wheel, he certainly wasn’t in control of the car.

The video below is pretty eye-opening. We’re so worried about hackers infiltrating major government networks, sensitive health and medical information, even company emails, did we ever stop to think about just how personal and close to home these people can get? From miles away, in the comfort of their own living room, the hackers were able to control the heat and air conditioning, the radio, the navigation system, the speedometer, the seatbelts, and even the steering and acceleration. They force Andy to pull over on the side of a highway, and they later drive him into a ditch. Hackers could even keep you locked in your own car if they so wanted.

This feels like something out of sci-fi, but now we know the threat is real. And as more and more people become constantly connected to wireless, the threat is only growing. We’re lucky to have security researchers like Charlie and Chris figuring out this dark side of technology before hackers learn how to cause some serious harm. After seeing this video, Jeep has already created a software update to help protect drivers from such threats.

Do you still feel safe in your car? SHARE with a friend and watch the video below to see just how much harm hackers can do when they wirelessly hijack your vehicle!

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“No matter what happens, don’t panic.” Hackers can now control your car, click here to learn if you’re safe!