A few months back, all the headlines centered on a car hack, but it wasn’t as scary as the sensational headlines made it.
In that story, a team of two hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, let Wired reporter Andy Greenberg test drive a Jeep Cherokee. During the test, Miller and Valasek were able to hack into and take over the vehicle’s Uconnect entertainment system to do seemingly harmless things like take over Greenberg’s radio, play with the windshield wipers and blast the air conditioning.
But here’s where it gets scary. They could also cut the transmission and stop the accelerator, completely disabling Greenberg’s car on a bridge with no shoulder.
The tests were a success for Miller and Valasek, and despite the knee-jerk reaction of thinking that this is really, really bad news, it actually may have prevented that hack from falling into the wrong hands.
With information about how the hacks work, Chrysler and other affected companies were able to fix the problem before it got completely out of control, and more importantly, before anyone died.
That’s what makes new proposition so troubling: Congress is mulling over potential legislation that would make researching car hacks – like Miller and Valasek did – completely illegal.
Now, the initiative is drawn up with our safety as the main concern, trying to take resources out of the hands of bad hackers. Unfortunately, that also takes resources out of the hands of good guy hackers, like Miller and Valasek.
Instead of taking resources away from both types of hackers, the auto industry would most likely be better off if they work with these security researchers instead of against them.
What do you think? Will making car hacks illegal really help our cars from being hacked? Or could it make matters worse? Let us know your opinions be posting in the comments below.