Imagine driving down the road in your Dodge Charger or Jeep Grand Cherokee and weird things start happening. The air conditioning starts blasting on high and the radio station changes itself. “Well that’s weird,” you think. Then the transmission suddenly cuts off, rendering your accelerator useless. Now you start to panic. You exclaim “What in the world is going on??” (or something more R-rated) to yourself as your car starts losing momentum. Then the brakes stop working..
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you may know that hackers had already figured out a way to wreak this kind of havoc on many of the cars on the road today. Hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were able to remotely hack into Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect system, allowing them to control numerous vehicle functions including its dashboard, steering, brakes and transmission. While previous hacks had shown the ability to control functions of some vehicles when being physically connected to
the car’s system, this one could be done remotely from a laptop hundreds or thousands of miles away. All of this was documented in Wired Magazine’s article on this discovery entitled “Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway – With Me In It”.
The solution? A USB flash drive. Or rather, lots and lots of USB flash drives.
In response to this nightmare situation, Fiat Chrysler issued a safety recall of about 1.4 million US vehicles spanning dozens of models. The recall is to upgrade the Uconnect software with additional security features to prevent remote manipulation of the vehicle. Owners of vehicles included in the recall will receive a USB flash drive which they can connect to their vehicle to upgrade the software. This means that up to 1.4 million USB flash drives with the upgraded software will need to be created and shipped to customers. Sounds like they’re going to need a bunch of USB flash drive duplicators to get this thing rolled out. A significant number of our 1:118 USB Copy Tower SA duplicators might be a good start!