• Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee (Photo : Twitter)

Last year security researchers killed the transmission and hit the brakes of a Jeep by hacking the off-road vehicle while a person was behind the wheel and driving down the road. Their hack attack resulted in Fiat Chrysler recalling 1.4 million vehicles and the security experts getting new Uber jobs. In the latest hack job the researchers hijacked the Jeep Cherokee's cruise control, took control of the auto-parking system, and switched on the parking brake.    

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Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek did the exploit. The hackers extraordinaire now have jobs at Uber's Advanced Technology Center.

In 2015 the researchers hacked the Jeep's transmission and brakes. They also took control of the steering wheel while the vehicle was moving in reverse.

Those hacks were only possible by exploiting the car's current functionality such as the parallel-parking feature.  

The hackers used the same 2014 Jeep Cherokee as during their first hack demo. However, this time they did not use the software patch.

The newest hack required a physical link. Miller and Valasek plugged in a laptop into the Jeep's on-board diagnostics (OBD)-II port under the car's dashboard.    

In addition, the hackers had to roll back the electronic control unit's (ECU) firmware to an old version and remove security features, according to Engadget.  

This time the hackers could do actions such as turning the steering wheel at any speed. That could cause the vehicle to rear-end another vehicle or drive off the road.

The Verge claimed that it might be possible to hack OBD-linked wireless devices sold by insurance companies. However, Chrysler argued that the researches have not found any new remote methods to hack a security hole of Jeep Cherokee or other Fiat Chrysler vehicles.   

The statement also said that it is unlikely that the exploit could happen. It could be prevented if Jeep owners maintain up-to-date software.

In related news, Delphi recently announced it will offer a small fleet of robot taxis to transport passengers around a Singapore business park, according to BBC. The self-driving cars could reportedly lower the average rate of $3 per mile to 90 cents.

Delphi's first driverless taxis will have human drivers to take over the steering wheel when needed. However, the United Kingdom company hopes to use fully-autonomous cars by 2019.

Here's a video on last year's Jeep hack: