Was a Jeep Wrangler Hacked in Houston?

houston texas jeep hack blog image

When the story first broke a stolen Jeep Wrangler was thought to be hacked, but the true story is very different.

 

 

Transcript:

These days when someone says they’ve got a hack, it’s probably something stupid like cutting an ice cream carton down the middle, or using water bottles as flip flops.

 

But we’re talking about real hacks here. Keep watching to find out how this jeep was hacked and stolen.


Hey guys, Ken here with 4WheelOnline. When the story first broke, everyone thought that this Houston, Texas Jeep was stolen with some sort of new unknown hacking method.

 

But a few days later FCA said that it doesn’t appear to be a “hack” and was actually a key being reprogrammed to work with this particular vehicle.

 

After some research, this seems pretty on point. There’s a number a of different products and tools that locksmiths use with the new electronic systems in cars and trucks.

 

One that we found is called the Hotwire by Keyless Ride. We watched a video of someone in Israel using Hotwire on a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. They put in a new ke, used the tool to pair the key with the Jeep, and then started it right up.

 

The entire video showing how to do this yourself was only four minutes long!

 

So is this something you should worry about?

Probably not. According to the DOJ and FBI, vehicle theft is down significantly in the past ten years. The electronic security systems seem to be doing their job just fine.

 

That hotwire hardware also costs around $8,000, so it’s not very accessible to the common thief.

 

Adding to that, FCA believes that these thieves had access to confidential dealer hardware and information. And we’d like to think most dealers and their employees are good people.

But FCA doesn’t want any repeats of its Cherokee hacks.

You remember those, right?

 

Do it! Kill the engine!

 

So we’re killing the engine right now.

 

*music playing loudly*

 

It says parksense…. S*#&

 

I actually can’t accelerate.

 

I stepped on the gas but the Jeep slowed to a crawl.

 

To combat future problems FCA is using a crowdsourcing service to offer bounties up to $1,500 to hackers that notify them of security flaws.

 

They’re the first of the big three to offer money for security flaws. Tesla has used the same service to pay out 132 bounties.

 

Every few months we hear about a new vehicle hack, and while it isn’t something we’re particularly worried about, it IS something that automakers need to take into account when designing their new cars.

 

With how much the media loves a good hacking story, will Ford and GM start similar programs?

We certainly hope so, but what do you think? Are manufacturers making cars too complicated for their own good?

 

Voice your opinion in our poll right here, then continue the conversation down in the comments.

 

And don’t forget to thumbs up, or if you’re on facebook the share and love button.
I’m Ken, with 4WheelOnline and you’ve just been refreshed.

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