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Jeep Hijack Brings IoT Cybersecurity Back Into Focus

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Jeep Hijack Brings IoT Cybersecurity Back Into Focus

The Internet of Things (IoT) has pushed manufacturers of everything from kitchen appliances to light bulbs to add a connectivity element. However, as the digital world grows larger, some worry that security isn't keeping up the pace.

Jeep Hack

This week those security risks were underscored after two hackers demonstrated their ability to hack into a connected Jeep from a remote laptop. Charlie Miller and Christ Valasek were able to control everything from the Jeep's radio and windshield wipers to its brakes and transmission from a laptop miles away from the car.

Wired's Andy Greenberg detailed his frightening account of the ordeal after he willingly participated in Miller and Valasek's hacking test.

Remote Control

Previous hacking attacks in which Miller and Valasek were able to control a car were always carried out from inside the car itself, but this represents the first time hackers have been able to remotely control a car from an outside location. News that the two were able to break into Jeep Cherokees from anywhere in the country quickly spread on social media, leading many to question whether or not the world is ready for the IoT.

Other Concerns

Hackers breaking into cars represents one of the most immediate dangers of the IoT; but what about connected everyday appliances?

While a hacker breaking into a connected washing machine may not be dangerous in itself, it could pose a threat to other connections in the same house. The security on a connected light bulb, for example, isn't as rigorous as the security on a laptop. However, once a hacker has found an entry point, compromising other devices is easier.

Image credit: NRMA Motoring and Services, Flickr

 

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