With more and more things being connected to the Internet, wireless security will become more and more paramount in areas we previously didn’t need it. The automobile industry is a huge part of the new Internet of Things, and hackers are undoubtedly looking at all possible ways of controlling everything they can. To illustrate how dangerous this could potentially be, WIRED got together with Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, two hackers that found an exploit in the latest Jeep Cherokee.
The whole report – which you should definitely check out here – is pretty scary. These hackers had almost full control of the car at one point. They didn’t modify the Jeep in any way, and didn’t connect any hardware to be able to access its controls. Everything was done wirelessly, miles away. As WIRED notes, “All of this is possible only because Chrysler, like practically all carmakers, is doing its best to turn the modern automobile into a smartphone.”
This particular vulnerability was found through Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system. This system, which is laid over QNX, controls the car’s entertainment and navigation, enables phone calls and can even offer a Wi-Fi hot spot. Miller and Valasek won’t identify which specific element of Uconnect was vulnerable for now.
Chrysler has been alerted to the exploit and will be issuing software patches to fix it.
*UPDATE* – Charlie Miller, the lead security researcher who discovered the UConnect vulnerability has clarified, along with BlackBerry, that the vulnerability “doesn’t have anything to do with QNX security.”