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Category:Horror, Science & Technology
Tags:jeep, Jeep Cherokee, Nothing bad can happen
Submitted:Shoebox Joe
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Comment count is 34
SolRo - 2015-07-22
It's an interesting confluence of forces...2008+ cars have advanced CAN bus OBD II systems to make diagnosis, repair and testing easier and cheaper...but if you add in a poorly protected wireless network to that, you can basically do almost anything to the car, "HE'S HACKING MY CAR!!!" style.

These guys were limited in what they could do because they didn't try or know how to reprogram the ECU(s) to do more advanced things.

(They probably didn't disable his brakes, because afaik, they're still a physical connection with mechanical fail safes, but with the hydraulic assistance disabled, he needed to stand on that pedal to operate the brakes)
Old_Zircon - 2015-07-22
"to make diagnosis, repair and testing easier and cheaper"

Uhhh, no.

It is, in fact, the automotive counterpart to the old NES lock-out chip. Cars today are basically disposable and deliberately crippled such that they are less efficient than ever.

Shit, my dad had a pretty middle of the road car in college that got over 50 miles to the gallon in the city and that was back when the body of a car weighed thousands of pounds. There is no excuse for cars made today not getting significantly better, cleaner performance and lasting for decades with minimal maintenance given the materials and technology we have at our disposal.

SolRo - 2015-07-22
No. You're wrong.

Your dads car was a tin can with a motor so that mileage was just from being low weight...if he crashed that thing at any significant speed, you wouldn't be here. (or you or your dad are just wrong. tell me the make/model/year and ill tell you if you're full of it)

Todays engines last 200,000 miles if taken care of...engines from before the 80s would be lucky to break 100,000.

The emissions from your dads car were horrible, just awful (or worse, depending on just how far back we're going), todays cars produce maybe 1/100th the air pollution (NOX, CO, Hydrocarbons) or even less of old and vintage cars.

Your whole mindset is wrong and based on ignorance and anecdotes.

Potrod - 2015-07-23
"Uhhh, no. It's actually due to this very convoluted and nonsensical conspiracy theory based on the one piece of anecdotal evidence that my dad misremembers his old car's fuel efficiency."

Is there any actual evidence for this? What would even be the point of a manufacturer artificially crippling its cars' fuel economy? How and why would a microcontroller/computer be needed to make the car less efficient?

http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publi cations/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_23.html http://www.umich.edu/~umtriswt/EDI_sales-weighted-mpg.html

Here are some figures some guy found from the '60s (plus another guy making outlandish claims based on his memories as a kid), and while they look sort of impressive (if nowhere close to 50 mpg), all of those cars weigh less than a 2015 Ford Focus and get worse mileage: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=334942

Potrod - 2015-07-23
If the MPG gains over the decades seem sluggish, it's apparently due to modern cars being both heavier and more powerful: http://www.wired.com/2012/01/mit-solves-the-case-of-the-missing-fu el-economy/

So basically, today's cars are bigger, more powerful, and still get better fuel economy than they used to. That cars could be getting better fuel economy if they were smaller/weaker is due more to misplaced priorities of consumers and manufacturers, not some intentional crippling via microcontroller conspiracy.

Raggamuffin - 2015-07-23
It's also that gas is still relatively cheap in America, so there isn't all that much pressure to get more efficient.

tethercat - 2015-07-23
I want more "No" responses here, please.

memedumpster - 2015-07-22
Chrysler and uConnect, endangering half a million people more effectively than ISIS could dream of in a million years.

This is pushing the credibility of incompetence and is starting to make malice the more likely explanation. I refuse to believe engineers and software designers accidentally made cars that could be used to commit mass murder via the Internet. That would make them the stupidest people on earth.
SolRo - 2015-07-22
Engineers might not...management would.

There's also the problem of compartmentalization...where one engineering department doesn't know how anything from the engineering department next door works.

You also have the cost vs consequence formula, where securing the wireless networks would cost more than paying out some identity theft program things for a couple thousand people (before anyone realized the wireless network made the CAN bus vulnerable)

memedumpster - 2015-07-22
You're telling me that people who have a job writing code to connect the car to the Internet have never heard of the Internet or what happens on it well enough to understand that perhaps connecting the ignition switch to the Internet might result in it being hacked. That people who write this code can write it to where it works, without understanding what it does, or how it is used. Did you see the list of functions that were accessible in the video? Windshield wipers and cleaners? They didn't just accidentally code one thing that way, they did the whole damned car.

Unless automotive engineers are autistic coders on Star Trek the Next Generation Levels, I can't believe that is the simplest answer. They have to be evil mass murdering terrorists. Those exist in far more plentiful number on earth than people that skilled in engineering who must also be that stupid to explain this phenomenon. You do not write code in complete cognitive blindness like an insect secreting something into its nest.

memedumpster - 2015-07-22
And if I'm wrong, then no one who does anything can ever be held responsible for their actions, because apparently advanced thought is just an animal impulse with no intelligence.

Hell, I may be writing this instinctively with no idea what words mean.

Oh god, maybe EvilHomer is just the human hive mind.

SolRo - 2015-07-22
What I'm telling you is that the people that designed the CAN bus and the people that designed the infotainment/wireless interface might not even know the other exists or where their department actually is located (if it's even in the same country).

It might be mutual ignorance. There wireless guy thinks "no way would the CAN bus department make it so vulnerable" while the CAN bus guy thinks "no way the wireless guy is so stupid as to make the vehicle systems easily remotely accessible".

I'm not even sure that the programmers for infotainment systems have any automotive engineering background, and given how crappy most of said systems are, I wouldn't be surprised that it's just farmed out to the cheapest contractor possible.

memedumpster - 2015-07-22
> There wireless guy thinks "no way would the CAN bus department make it so vulnerable"

That's my point, they did, and it has to be on purpose.

>while the CAN bus guy thinks "no way the wireless guy is so stupid as to make the vehicle systems easily remotely accessible".

That's my point, they did, and it has to be on purpose.

Otherwise, it's like saying "I can be this stupid because I refuse to believe the other people are as stupid as I am now knowingly being" and they both did that.

It's not likely. It creates a "nobody did it and nobody is at fault yet it happened by no action of anyone" scenario. That's not physically possible.

Of course, I'm playing this for laughs, but China might actually execute people if something like this happened there. They executed the person responsible for contaminated milk and this far worse.

Shoebox Joe - 2015-07-22
I'd have to go with Solro's management sentiment. Money makes more sense to them while everything else is just arbitrary, pipe dream wishing, or higher expectations than expected.

Either they didn't pursue it due to feeling any mechanical fail safes would be enough (grandma's already half dead you'll get over it) or so blasely unaware that they're not the only ones who can say "shit happens" to a sadistic degree, let alone that their own reference is just as bad.

Or they could be hoping to escape any fault in any tense what so ever.

I sort of disagree with the compartmentalization on the programming section. It's no doubt prepackaged software/firmware massively distributed. All the hardware communicating/interacting with each other is a different section, but it's the coders that make the running system.

memedumpster - 2015-07-22
Okay, but if we ever accidentally by no one's actions create a system where the mentally handicapped are executed in an accidentally but nowhere intended system of mass eugenic accidental social darwinism, we put auto executives accidentally at the top of the list.

I am going to become a capitalist truther. 9-11 was an accident. The aircraft engineers, building architects, passengers, American government, and Al Qaeda all assumed the other would take steps to ensure it didn't happen. No one's to blame.

SolRo - 2015-07-22
The infotainment and wireless is just a subcomponent of the whole system, not in any way a central component or something that has "overall" control over anything (maybe the radio, at most).

It can send requests to the main ECU to do things like change climate control settings, engine tune, or the like, but the ECU is what actually controls that.

Widespread Wireless integration for automobiles is a new thing, so it doesn't surprise me that in some companies it got tacked on without much thought for security (before anyone hurp-derps about it, I'm talking about always-on wireless that's hard wired into the cars systems)

Shoebox Joe - 2015-07-22
Ha, I just realized how my logic was an oxymoron.

Though, I do believe the lack of security fell through the loophole of "Such and such highway safety says we can do this, but not that" for pairing entertainment, etc with safety coding.

By the way, I'm the undercover boss of the internet, and seeing how perceptive you are Solro, I'm making you the new boss of the internet.


15th - 2015-07-23
I'm stupid, but even on an abstract/layman level I could recognize safety issues with this type of integration. How the fuck is that possible? How did smart engineers for a major auto company miss this? I don't want to believe Meme's malice theory, but Soiro's CORPORATE APOLOGIES don't cut it when I'm watching someone be driven off the road via laptop. This is disgraceful, especially considering this is such a Mickey Mouse feature when meaningful advances are desperately needed.

SolRo - 2015-07-23
It's called an explanation, not excusing anything, you twit.

I explained how seemingly obvious problems can be overlooked or intentionally ignored in a large corporate environment.

memedumpster - 2015-07-23
Meanwhile at Chrysler...

"Hey, Mike?"

"Yeah, Dave?"

"You know that wireless system that allows us to control the steering wheel directly when the car's in reverse, shut off the engine, and disable the brakes?"


"You don't think anyone would be able to use the wireless system that operates the AC, radio, GPS, speedometer, dash readouts, and windshield wipers to control that do you?"

"Are they connected somehow?"


"Nah, management wouldn't allow it."


"Yes, Dave?"

"Why do we even have a wireless system that can control the steering wheel directly when the car's in reverse, shut off the engine, and disable the brakes?"

"Why don't you knock off and go home early."

"What are you going to do?"

"You know, coding..."

"Are you a terrorist, Mike?"

"No. I mean, I do think that I should be able to assassinate anyone anytime I want to, but only for personal reasons. I don't have, like, an ideology or anything."

"Can I be a terrorist too? For personal reasons."

"You buy lunch?"



This has easily been the most entertaining video for me on this site all week. It offers so much to make fun of. This reminds me of the "why do we even have a rupturable tube full of boiling gas next to the warp core" thing from Star Trek.

Oscar Wildcat - 2015-07-23
Jesus, this is not so complicated. Some fool simply forgot to disable the remote services when they did the production build of the software. It's awfully handy to have all these capabilities when you are testing the car/computer. So that's why it is there. And it's easy in a large organization to drop the ball when the final product is pushed out the door.

Hacking at old/forgotten debug interface is a classic attack. But not easy to replicate/develop and trivially easy to patch once "the good guys" know there is a problem.

15th - 2015-07-23
Soreo, all caps was your hint I was being tongue-and-cheek. I think everyone here, twits included, can fathom bureaucratic negligence. My excellent and thoughtful point is: outrage is the proper and socially responsible reaction to murderously dumb failures by a subsidized corporation. YOU FASCIST.

memedumpster - 2015-07-24
*puts SolRo-al-Herbie-Goes-Bananas and OscarWildcat-al-Maximum-Overdrive on the Motor-Qaeda watch list*

SolRo - 2015-07-22
meme, stop evilhomer-ing.
memedumpster - 2015-07-22
I assumed you'd stop me from doing that. It wasn't an accident, no one's to blame.

memedumpster - 2015-07-22
"Was an accident," I meant. You should have stopped me from making that typo.

SolRo - 2015-07-22
There's a mechanical fail safe, someone just has to stand on your throat.

memedumpster - 2015-07-22
EvilHomererotic asphyxiation?

I'm starting to suspect you didn't watch the video, speaking of EvilHomering.

infinite zest - 2015-07-22
I can't really say I didn't see this coming. I was actually watching this with my parents on PBS just tonight and I said "remember when us 3 kids had Game Gear for long roadtrips and the biggest concern was to pull over and get more batteries?" I quickly learned that fighting over Game Gear was pointless and learned to look out the fucking window and watch the world go by. Implementing DVD players and wifi and everything else like they do in airplanes isn't just stupid, it's the fact that your dad is the fucking pilot of that car, unlike the fucking pilot of that fucking plane, who doesn't give a shit that passenger 27B got their fucking entertainment taken away, like your mom or dad most likely will.
fluffy - 2015-07-23
Personally I don't see why the car needs any sort of Internet connectivity. Bluetooth with your phone, sure, but the phone can already take care of all the Internet shit like maps and whatever, way better than whatever half-baked car interface exists.

And why the crap is the CAN network connected to the cellphone stuff in any way whatsoever?
SolRo - 2015-07-23
some companies use the connection to do free over-the-air updates for car software, track statistics, update GPS maps, concierge-type services, accident monitoring, and just a general cellular data connection that the occupants can use through the system.

phones aren't integrated with car displays, so for a lot of people its more convenient to have a car system that does maps on a large display rather than looking at a tiny phone screen held in some annoying phone holder. Plus, there are old people out there, people that don't like smart phones, etc, etc.

oddeye - 2015-07-23
"Untraceable" called it, you can indeed hack a car.

Change - 2015-07-23
Five stars for SolRo showing up nerds.
spikestoyiu - 2015-07-23
I have a car
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