SMART cars are now hackable. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled 1.4 million of its vehicles after two hackers showed they could take control of a car via the internet.

In a stunt for Wired, a couple of security researchers took control of a Jeep Cherokee remotely by hacking into the vehicle’s internet-connected entertainment system. After the pair showed that they could change the radio station and the air conditioning, lock the doors and operate the windscreen wipers, they finally killed the engine and slammed on the brakes. The car ended up in a ditch.

“After showing they could operate the windscreen wipers and radio, they killed the engine”

Chrysler drivers will be sent a USB drive containing updates to their car computer’s software that will close the vulnerability. The recall comes after two US senators last week announced plans to force car manufacturers to make sure cars are protected from such attacks.

Magazine issue 3032 published 1 August 2015

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