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For my extra credit
assignment, I decided to address the reality of how everyday items can be
hacked. In this example I referred an article on WIRED in which two individuals
hacked their test subjects Jeep. The two hackers in this test are Charlie
Miller and Chris Valasek. Charlie Miller works at Twitter as a security
researcher and Chris Valasek works for IOActive as a director of “Vehicle Security
Research”. Together these two had managed to exploit various security vulnerabilities
in vehicles remotely. The first time they placed Andy Greenburg was supposedly
the summer of 2013. In Indiana, they made Andy drive them around in a Ford
Escape and a Toyota Prius, while they sat in the back on their laptops. During
their first tests they approached a wall in their research. For them to be able
to gain access to vehicles their PC’s had to be wired to the cars “onboard diagnostic
port”. This port is normally used by repair technicians to repair and gain
access to its electronically controlled systems. According to Greenburg their
exploit allowed them to “disable brakes, honk the horn, jerk the seat belt and commandeered
the steering wheel” (Greenburg). This feat has raised many questions for
consumers and vehicle-manufactures. The thought that someone can remotely
control any vehicle is something that needs to be resolved.

            In another test in 2015, Miller and Valasek had made
their carjacking exploit completely wireless. They had their “crash-test dummy,
Greenburg drive a white Jeep Grand Cherokee in St. Louis. Both Miller and Valasek
were approximately 10 miles away at Millers house on his laptop. Greenburg
states, that he was driving at 70 miles per hour on Interstate-64. Here Adam
Greenburg explains his account of the events that took place:

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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

He then explains that as all of this occurred, Miller and Valasek had
displayed on the car’s digital display a picture of them performing their exploit
in their “trademark track suits”. The hack in this jeep is known as a zero-day
exploit. Greenburg had volunteered to be their test subject and had no idea of
what sort of attacks to expect but that Miller and Valasek would do anything “life-threating”
and advised him to not panic no matter what happened. During this experiment
they cut Greenburg’s transmission in the vehicle. Their exploit gave them the
power to “fully kill the engine, abruptly engage the brakes, or disable them altogether”
(Greenburg). This is possible since all auto manufactures are now increasingly
involving more and more technology into their vehicles. The fact that hackers
with the right knowledge and expertise and resources can control anyone’s vehicles
as if they were themselves in the vehicle is an amazing feat yet something that
needs to be fixed as soon as possible. The fact that this could happen to
anyone is something that is very concerning.

            Auto-manufactures have
learned a great deal of knowledge through Millers and Valasek’s research.

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I'm Erica!

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