According to them, they are able to use the Internet to control the car while it is being driven. This will probably stir up the discussions related to the safety drivers benefit from while using vehicles that are becoming increasingly interconnected.
The two researchers – Charlie Miller, who used to be a National Security Agency hacker and Chris Valasek, an IOAactive researcher, managed to break into a car that was being driven by a reporter for wired.com on the highway. They did so by using a feature in the Fiat Chrysler telematics system Unconnect.
During the experiment, they turned on the car’s radio and they rewrote code that was embedded in the entertainment system in order to be able to control the engine, brakes and the steering wheel.
According to Charlie Miller, there are a lot of cars which are now traveling on the road and are extremely vulnerable to such attacks.
However, Fiat Chrysler said it had a software patch that could fix the most important vulnerability and it was available on their website for free.
“Similar to a smartphone or tablet, vehicle software can require updates for improved security protection to reduce the potential risk of unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems,” representatives of the company said.
The researchers had been working for a long time on a way to assess car safety on the road and were firm believers that a car could be hacked into.
They worked with Fiat Chrysler since October and had the company develop a patch to disable a feature that might have been turned on by mistake.
They stated that, even if the protective patch has been developed, there are many cars out there which are at risk because they are still unpatched.
This research, along with other warnings, started to concern authorities regarding safety on the road. One of these agencies is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, whose representative, Chief Mark Rosekind expressed his concern about how secure vehicle control systems really are.
He also said that customers need to be sure that they are safe before using them. This prompted members of the Congress to introduce a bill that required the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop tools that isolate critical software and are able to detect hacking.
Image Source: telematicswire