Last week, Wired posted a story demonstrating the potential for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee to be remotely hacked.

During the experiment—recklessly conducted on a busy freeway—writer Andy Greenberg was left completely at the mercy of hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. The pair was able to access the vehicle's climate control, entertainment system, transmission, and engine. At one point, Greenberg had to restart the vehicle in order to continue driving.

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The exploit was accomplished by taking advantage of the vulnerabilities in the Jeep's 8.4-inch touch screen, and in response, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has voluntarily recalled 1.4 million vehicles equipped with the units. The fix is a simple software patch. Here's a complete list of affected models from FCA's website: 

  • 2013-2015 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 MY Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans

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There are no reports thus far of similar hacks taking place outside the confines of the Wired experiment. But the potential for harm in cases like this is great, and the incident highlights the dark side of increasingly connected vehicles.

While this is the highest-profile car hack we've yet seen, it's most likely not the last. Stay tuned.


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