Chrysler, Nissan looking into claims their cars 'most hackable'

Tue Aug 5, 2014 9:27pm EDT
 
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By Michael Leibel and Jim Finkle

NEW YORK/LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Chrysler and Nissan said they are reviewing a report by well-known cyber security experts that rates their vehicles among the three "most hackable" cars on the market, along with a General Motors model.

Computer security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek concluded in the report due to be released later this week that the most hackable models out of 20 reviewed were Chrysler Group's 2014 Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Motor Co Ltd's 2014 Infiniti Q50 and General Motors Co 2015 Cadillac Escalade.

The researchers are scheduled to discuss their findings on Wednesday at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas, where thousands are gathering to learn about emerging security threats. Safety of vehicles, medical devices and other equipment with embedded computers is a hot topic this year.

"Chrysler Group will endeavor to verify these claims and, if warranted, we will remediate them," said company spokesman Eric Mayne.

Nissan said in a statement to Reuters that it was reviewing the findings, adding there is "no indication" that the authors tried to exploit any cyber vulnerabilities in the Q50.

General Motors did not respond to requests for comment.

Miller, a security engineer with Twitter, and Valasek, director of vehicle security research at the consulting firm IOActive, said they assessed car safety based on the potential for remote attacks.

They did not test the vehicles themselves but reviewed key criteria, including the number of remote access technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth that could allow hackers to gain control of systems to manipulate and cause physical damage to the car, the researchers said.   Continued...

 
The new Infiniti Q50 sports sedan is seen during its launching in Hong Kong May 22, 2014.  REUTERS/Tyrone Siu