By Max Kolonko | July 30, 2015
Imagine you’re doing a 100 mph on a highway when suddenly – your brakes fail, wipers turn on, lights go off , radio turns on and starts playing Requiem by Mozart and on the car’s monitor – the face of your ex pops up and says – I got you – you SOB…
Long story short – you’ve been hijacked. You’re DOA.Can you remotely hijack a car moving down the road?
Turns out – yes you can.
These two guys hijacked Jeep Chrysler riding on a highway while sitting in a basement 15 miles away How they did that?
First computers began to be installed in vehicles ca 90s a simple piece of equipment at first just to control the engine, air conditioning then it got more and more complicated – and today – the computer systems turned into home entertainment systems similar to those at your home that’s what kids play with in the back seat. They got wi-fi, play computer games, you can make calls access navigation system etc everything that shows on your screen. Everything would be OK if the system would’ve been limited to your car only.
But they are often connected to an external network which can be hacked into. which provides you with the access to movies and other useful features – as communication between a driver and an external network like Onstar which you know – when you drive and a voice comes up out of nowhere hi My name is Elise – how are you today Max? And you go – what the heck you’re doing in my car? And she goes – I’m Onstar – just checking if you’re OK cause I see your airbag deployed. Have you been in an accident?
In another case you can open your car when you locked out You just call Onstar and they open the door for you – very helpful indeed.
But today modern cars have not only its own phone number but also own IP address – just like a computer.
So if you hack onto the external network which connects to your car – you can hijack the car. And that’s what these two programmers did. They hacked into Uconnect which Jeep Chrysler utilizes in his models. They took control of the vehicle while on the road shut off brakes, turned wipers and radio on till they ditch the vehicle. Posted a video of that on YouTube.
That’s is nothing however what Chris Roberts did. A well know figure among the programmers Roberts specializes in computer systems security issues onboard commercial airplanes. Chris Roberts hijacked remotely an entire plane out of a passenger’s seat. How did he do that?
By hacking to plane’s entertainment system. The box is located under the seat in some models. He unscrewed the box, plugged in an ethernet cable connected to his laptop and was able to get to pilot’s cabin which connects to the system – what you know – when the pilot announces – we’re flying at such and such altitude. Now from inside the cabin Roberts was able to connect to plane’s avionics. Now he could take control of the plane. He could change plane’s flight, altitude etc. all this sitting in a backseat of the plane. Roberts tweeted from the plane – I’m about to get arrested and he did.
FBI knew him already – asked what’s he doing? He said he was able to gain control of the plane from the passenger’s seat. They couldn’t believe their ears. My take – Today you can have not only your car hijacked remotely or plane – but your entire life. Refrigerators have computers, laundry machines, security systems. Utilities companies have computers installed in your house to check gas meters. They do all this remotely now – long story short- your entire life can be hijacked. Just don’t tell that your ex.
I’m Max Kolonko and I’m telling it like it is – New York
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