Hackers Take Control of Moving Jeep Cherokee

No, we shouldn’t worry about computer security. A hacked Jeep should be a wake-up call to automakers – LA Times.

As writer Andy Greenberg sped down the highway in a Jeep Cherokee, the radio started blasting hip hop, the air conditioning unexpectedly turned on, the wipers activated — and then the SUV switched itself into neutral. Or rather, hackers on laptops miles away switched it into neutral. They later disabled its brakes so that it ran into a ditch.

He was running a test for some white-hats, but even so. That someone with a laptop can disable the breaks on a vehicle is more than stupid. Why design any of the systems to be available from outside the car, let alone from the internet?

But then at a guess, I would say that at least one of the engineers responsible for this train-wreck (or is that car crash?) has his pet’s name as part of his password.

Any bets on whether “self-driving” cars are any better? The hackers won’t have to disable the breaks, they will just make the damn things crash.

(UPDATE: These guys need to brush up on their TV-tropes…. Failsafe Failure – TV Tropes. ‘Because you can’t spell “Failsafe” without “F-A-I-L”). Shouldn’t the breaks be like the ULTIMATE manual override?)