In a world where everything is connected, the dangers of being remotely hacked are real. Before now, you worried about your PC and smartphone being jacked. In this new world, your car, your entire business, and even your home can be jacked. Feed on this real life story:
I WAS DRIVING 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold.
Though I hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system. Next the radio switched to the local hip hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. I spun the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass.
As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. That’s when they cut the transmission.
Immediately my accelerator stopped working. As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.
At that point, the interstate began to slope upward, so the Jeep lost more momentum and barely crept forward. Cars lined up behind my bumper before passing me, honking. I could see an 18-wheeler approaching in my rearview mirror. I hoped its driver saw me, too, and could tell I was paralyzed on the highway.
Thankfully, it was a test operation involving the car maker, so vulnerabilities in the onboard software can be patched.
Remote jacking of a car is now possible because of smartphone technology being built into vehicles. Software from Google, HERE and BlackBerry, among others, now power the entertainment and/or navigation systems on more and more vehicles. And these systems are online. Imagine the possibilities.
Soon, we will have entire homes running similar software and connected as well. Welcome to a whole new world. Welcome to all the possibilities.
Go read the full story on Wired.com: Hackers remotely kill a Jeep on the highway — with me in it.
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