I love that they’re laughing at the end there. They had to get towed out of a ditch.


So, sure, some angry neckbeard trying to kill you with a laptop hiding under the passenger floormat isn’t really a credible threat, but now that this level of intrusion deep into the CAN bus has been proven, Miller and Valasek have shown before that remote hacks can get access to more systems than you’d think. There certainly may be ways to get to these systems without a physical connection.

Chrysler issued a statement about the recent hack to Wired, saying:

“This demonstration required a computer to be physically connected into the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic (OBD) port and present in the vehicle. While we admire their creativity, it appears that the researchers have not identified any new remote way to compromise a 2014 Jeep Cherokee or other FCA US vehicles.”

The statement also claims that Miller and Valasek’s Jeep “appears to have been altered back to an older level of software,” the company adds. “It is highly unlikely that this exploit could be possible…if the vehicle software were still at the latest level.”


Miller and Valasek suggest that having some small physical switch that must be flipped before low-level access to the ECUs and CAN bus could solve a lot of the threat of remote hacks, and that does seem like a very logical, reasonable, and inexpensive idea. The likelihood of physical access for a hack like this is unlikely, so why not build in a physical component that must be interacted with before remote access is permitted to any of these sensitive systems?

Jeep owners are not going to have their vehicles remotely turned into killing machines en masse, at least not right now. But what Miller and Valasek have shown is that it actually is possible to make these vehicles dangerous, and there’s no reason for manufacturers to not take the issue of internal vehicle network security seriously.