Hackers were able to remote control a Jeep Grand Cherokee

How the Internet of Things gave Hackers access to a Jeep

by Torsten 1mak Schmidt
– 1984 Readers

A Jeep in St Louis has been remotely hacked and controlled from almost a thousand kilometers away in Pittsburgh. This hack highlights a security flaw in the Jeep's operating system that could allow hackers to remotely control the system from anywhere on the planet. Cyber-security researchers claim to have accessed critical vehicle controls on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which have allowed them to remotely control braking, steering and transmission function.

While this news is alarming for Jeep owners to say the least, auto makers in the past have downplayed the possibility of a car being remotely commandeered. It seems in light of this recent hack, they'll have to re-evaluate the threat posed to the hundreds of thousands of Jeeps already on the road.

A key point of the attack was that the hackers did not need physical access to the Jeep to gain control - they were able to access the controls via a security hole in the Sprint network's cellular connection to the Jeep's UConnect entertainment system. This allowed the Jeep's brakes to be remotely disabled, the windshield wipers engaged, and the transmission tampered with.

The cyber-security researchers alerted Fiat Chrysler about the breach, which has allowed the company to develop and distribute a patch for the vulnerability. This can be downloaded and installed by Jeep owners personally, or taken into the dealership and done there.

In response to the security breach, Jeep representatives stated,"The company takes this matter seriously and works to protect our customers and products from security and safety risks."