Hackers are now able to break into hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the road.
Car hacking is a hot topic today and until now it was performed only while researchers were hard-wired into a car's electrical system.
However, the most recent hack performed by two computer hackers, who have spent years developing ways to crack the digital safeguards of Internet-connected vehicles, is rather more Disturbing.
Researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek recently demonstrated their abilities to control a Jeep Cherokee remotely from miles away by exploiting the car's entertainment system that was connected to the mobile data network.
The duo was able to move laterally into other electronic parts of the vehicle, like the air conditioning, transmission, and even the car's steering controls.
1.4 Million Car Models Vulnerable
Not just Jeep Cherokee, but the rest of the 14 Fiat Chrysler car models were found to be vulnerable to the hackers' exploit.
Following this car hacking incident, Fiat Chrysler launched a safety recall of 1.4 Million recent car models that could be remotely exploited and controlled by hackers.
Now let's have a look on affected vehicles' Models:
- 2013-2015 MY Dodge Viper specialty vehicles
- 2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups
- 2013-2015 Ram 3500, 4500, 5500 Chassis Cabs
- 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs
- 2014-2015 Dodge Durango SUVs 2015 MY Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans
- 2015 Dodge Challenger Sports coupes
Money could be Recovered, Not the Lives
Shortly after Fiat Chrysler announced the recall, Miller raised a question, "I wonder what is cheaper, designing secure cars or doing recalls?"
The same question raised in my mind too. This safety recall of 1.4 Million cars would undoubtedly have cost the company far expensive than to design its cars secure against the online threats.
The car manufacturers need to understand this fact that car hacking is worse than any major bank theft. The money could be recovered, but not the Lives.
The Company said neither it was "aware of any injuries related to software exploitation," nor it was "aware of any related complaints, warranty claims or accidents."
"The recall aligns with an ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation, which, if unauthorized, constitutes the criminal action," the company said in a statement.
Miller and Valasek are planning to reveal more information about their findings at the Def Con conference next month.
This latest round of car hacking incident considerably raises the concerns over internet-connected vehicles.