Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

If You Have Enemies, You May Not Want to be Driving a Jeep.

Or some other cars. Because it's no fun at all to drive a car which has its systems under attack by hackers.

In the meantime, you might want to stick with an older car that doesn't have any of that wireless gimcrackery built in.


BadTux said...

Actually, the vast majority of Jeeps do *not* have the wireless Internet module. Unlike OnStar on GM cars, it isn't built into UConnect, which predates most of the Internet (it's basically 1990's technology). The Internet module is an optional separate module that plugs into the slow-speed dashboard CAN bus and talks to the UConnect system over the CAN bus. And most people don't buy it because it's buggy and less useful than just hooking your smartphone to the UConnect directly via Bluetooth.

It doesn't surprise me that they've found another bug in that module (which I do *not* have on either of my Chrysler vehicles, BTW, because it's not worth the money). What surprises me is that they managed to maintain a WiFi connection with that module long enough to hack the car, LOL. (It's infamous for being incompatible with half the devices out there on the market). I do suggest that people who *do* have it on their cars, have it unplugged immediately though. Doing so doesn't harm anything else in the car. Like I said, it's an optional add-on.

BTW, the reason you have to reprogram the UConnect system via a USB keyfob rather than over the Internet is because the slow speed CAN bus is *slow*. As in, 19200 baud modem slow. It was designed to carry key presses from the steering wheel switches to the UConnect entertainment system, it wasn't designed to carry data. Unfortunately the dashboard CAN bus connects to both the engine CAN bus and the traction control CAN bus, since all the idiot lights on the dashboard are also controlled by the CAN bus (i.e., the engine sends signals over the CAN bus to turn on the Check Engine idiot light, and if the traction control kicks in the traction control system sends signals over the CAN bus to turn on the Traction Control idiot light, etc.). This Internet module should have never been plugged into the dashboard CAN bus in the first place. But I'm sure Marketing said, "we must internet-connect our cars!" and they just went out and found an off-the-shelf CAN controller that would do it... SIGH.

Marc said...

Tux, it is a feature marketing could shill. "Our cars are internet ready, while the other guy's aren't'. Nothing stopped folks for falling for features they don't need

BadTux said...

Thing is, Chrysler's customers *don't care* about that kind of feature. Chrysler's customers are older, more conservative, more into "retro" if you will. Thus why the Jeep Wrangler and the Chrysler Town & Country minivan are their best-selling vehicles. The former is the very definition of "retro", the latter is a *minivan* for cryin' out loud. Maybe Chrysler wishes they had young tech-savvy buyers -- but they don't. And those who *are* tech-savvy, prefer Chrysler's simpler vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler to the overblown luxo-liners like the Jeep Grand Cherokee that was the subject of this story. (*NOT* Jeep Cherokee, which is a different vehicle altogether).

Thus why almost no Jeep, no Chrysler vehicle period, has this Internet module....