Car hacking a potential problem for the Jeep Cherokee


POSTED: Monday, August 4, 2014 - 6:17pm

UPDATED: Monday, August 4, 2014 - 6:28pm

Security researchers are calling out one of the safest vehicles on the road,the new Jeep Cherokee.

With over 70 safety features on the vehicle, a team that spoke originally with CNN, says the Cherokee is most susceptible to car hackers.
The vehicles Bluetooth system is on the same network as its braking and steering system. They suggested if someone could get the manufacturer’s Bluetooth code for the vehicle, it would be possible for them to hard wire the system from a remote location and take control of the vehicle away from the driver. Essentially, someone could get a virus on their phone, connect the phone to the Bluetooth in the car, gain control of the car’s computer system through the virus, and then the hacker could take control of the steering and braking away from the driver.

Again, their thoughts are all theoretical when it comes to the Jeep. But the team of researchers did test out some of their hacking skills on a Toyota vehicle. However, it wasn’t as simple as sitting in an office and playing on a phone. They had to take apart the car, hard wire it, and be present in the vehicle. Performing it from a remote location wasn’t attempted. Even then, they could only affect the steering and braking systems when the car was going between 5 and 10 miles per hour.

The team says they test out theories like this to keep car manufacturers innovating. Both Toyota and Chrysler released statements regarding the study. Chrysler, Jeep’s manufacturer, stated their vehicle is equipped with safety features to minimalize real world risks, but would be looking into the researchers theories and would make changes if necessary. Toyota released a statement making everyone aware of all the steps the research team had to take before they could hack the vehicle’s computer system so drivers would understand new safety concerns wouldn’t be necessary.

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