Uber has hired hackers and why not, who better than skilled hackers to ward off unsolicited hackers in the future for their driverless cars? The Uber folks have confirmed that they did indeed hire security researchers who are known for their talents of hacking into the system of a Jeep Cherokee.
According to The Wall Street Journal on August 29, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek are the two hackers now employed by the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Unlike most folks, their job interview was more like an audition as they were sought after following the hacking job that brought a Jeep Cherokee to a standstill on a St. Louis Highway earlier this summer.
The duo probably had no idea they’d be starting a new career after hacking the Jeep through its entertainment center. While this stunt peeved the folks at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the automobile industries trade group, these two fellows fascinated the Silicon Valley dwellers. This is the place were security research is of great interest.
According to The Hoops News today, “the two genius minds demonstrated an easy way to launch a hack attack on moving Jeep Cherokee.” Even with the vehicle several miles away, these two hackers successfully demonstrated their skills to control the car’s brakes, engines, and minor systems. The hackers brought a very important fact to light. “Just by merely possessing knowledge of the car’s public IP address, it was possible to execute complete control over the vehicle’s components,” reports Hoops News.
Who knew that the art of hacking, which often leads to cyber-crime, would launch the career of these two hackers and a few others who have demonstrated their skills in public? Tesla Motors was another company that approached hackers to come and work for them after they demonstrated their abilities to hack into the Tesla Model S sedan during a hacker conference last month.
One of the more famous hackers hired was the 21-year-old who hacked into Sony PlayStation 3. When all was said and done in court George “Geohot” Hotz was “forbidden from “unauthorized access” to another Sony product again,” according to PC Magazine back in 2011. He was scooped up by Facebook to work. With Hotz’s resume of hacking Apple iPhones and iPod Touches, along with his infamous PS3 hack, the head honchos at Facebook saw his hacking abilities as fitting the bill.
Some hackers were hired fresh out of prison by Silicon Valley employers. There are quite a few cases were illegal hacking actually was the precursor to a high-tech and high-paying career!