It’s a scary thought that somebody could take control of your car, disable the brakes and force you to crash, and that’s exactly what a group of hackers did in the US to a Jeep Cherokee. The hack was done to prove the exploit that existed in the cellular connected Jeep Cherokee UConnect system.
Online site wired.com detailed the hack and showed just how real the threat is. Whilst the focus was on the UConnect system in the Jeep Cherokee, it isn’t the first time a vehicle hack has been performed to take control of a car.
What made this hack notable, was that rather than being hardwired to the vehicle via a laptop, the vehicle could be controlled from a distance using a 3G phone connection.
Fiat Chrysler Australia have confirmed that no vehicles in Australia are affected. The internet connected UConnect feature is only available in the United States, as per their statement below:
“FCA USA was made aware of a potential issue within the UConnect’s external cellular connection. On July 16, owners of vehicles with this UConnect feature were notified of an update that has now resolved this wireless connection issue.
FCA USA has a dedicated team from System Quality Engineering focused on identifying and implementing software best practices. The team’s responsibilities include development and implementation of cybersecurity standards for all vehicle content, including on-board and remote services.
As such, FCA released a software update that offers customers improved vehicle electronic security and communications system enhancements. The Company monitors and tests the information systems of all of its products to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities in the ordinary course of business.
No vehicles in Australia nor any international market outside of the USA were affected by this issue, as it is an American-only system not present in Australian vehicles. Vehicles sold in Australia and other international markets are not equipped with an external cellular connection.”
For now, you have nothing to worry about – however it makes you think. People hack computers and companies like Apple and Microsoft work hard to protect their customers. How hard will car manufacturers work to keep their cars protected and safe? How quickly will they respond to exploits that become public?