Hacking demonstration highlights vulnerability of connected cars

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Carmakers developing connected and driverless cars need to shore up their defences against hackers.

Technology magazine Wired reported how two hackers gained control of a reporter’s Jeep Cherokee through the car’s internet connection, and drove him into a ditch.

Wired said the hackers remotely sent commands through the Jeep’s entertainment system to its dashboard functions, steering, brakes and transmission. They even sent live images of themselves to the car’s digital display.

The hackers cut the car’s transmission and disabled its brakes. They said they are working on steering, which they can currently only control in reverse. And they can track the car’s speed and course through its GPS, Wired said.

According to the magazine, the hackers were able to control the car through Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect system, which controls the vehicle’s entertainment and navigation, enables phonecalls and offers Wi-Fi.

Wired said the hackers have been sharing their research with Chrysler for nine months, and the company is releasing a patch to guard against hacking.

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