471,000 Vehicles Found to Be Dangerously Vulnerable to Hackers

By Joshua Krause

As technology advances at an ever-increasing rate, one immutable law has become apparent. Sophisticated technologies can offer many benefits, but at a cost. The more complicated something becomes, the more vulnerable it is.

On the flip side of this law is simplicity, which offers resilience and reliability. Every new technology that arrives on the market, must face these conditions. If the benefits outweigh the vulnerabilities, more people will adopt that technology. If it can’t pull that off, then most people will take the oldschool route, and stick with that technology’s time-tested predecessor.

Obviously, computers are facing this challenge more than any other technology, because computers are advancing so fast that most people can’t keep up with them. These products are being rolled out before anyone can address their vulnerabilities, which is going to be a scary problem for future generations, especially with self-driving cars.

This technology is making so much headway, that many experts believe that most people won’t even own a car, (and I assume, won’t know how to drive) within 25 years. But when it comes to cars that are operated by computers, we already have a glimpse of the sorts of problems that our kids are going to be dealing with as these machines proliferate. A reporter with Wired Magazine recently conducted an experiment with two hackers, to see how vulnerable a Jeep Cherokee would be. The results were not encouraging.

To better simulate the experience of driving a vehicle while it’s being hijacked by an invisible, virtual force, Miller and Valasek refused to tell me ahead of time what kinds of attacks they planned to launch from Miller’s laptop in his house 10 miles west. Instead, they merely assured me that they wouldn’t do anything life-threatening. Then they told me to drive the Jeep onto the highway. “Remember, Andy,” Miller had said through my iPhone’s speaker just before I pulled onto the Interstate 64 on-ramp, “no matter what happens, don’t panic.”

As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. That’s when they cut the transmission.

Immediately my accelerator stopped working. As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.

Some of their other hacks included the steering wheel and the GPS. Since the car’s computer has its own IP address, they could hack it from anywhere in the country. They suspect that around 471,000 vehicles on the road today, share this vulnerability.

This is the world we live in now. As time goes on, more and more of our lives are becoming hackable, as we buy high-tech products and services that promise big benefits, but fail to mention how they can go wrong.

You have to ask yourself, do these benefits outweigh the vulnerabilities?

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription

2 Comments on "471,000 Vehicles Found to Be Dangerously Vulnerable to Hackers"

  1. years? models?

  2. anyone want to buy a 2013 ford hybrid – cheap?

Leave a comment