AD #1663 – Vipers Are Endangered, Telematics M&A Action, UConnect Hack Attack

July 22nd, 2015 at 11:55am

Runtime: 8:14

- Viper on the Endangered Species List
- UConnect Hack Attack
- Telematics M&A
- Infiniti Shows the “Real” Q30
- John McElroy Responds to Your Comments and Queries

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44 Comments to “AD #1663 – Vipers Are Endangered, Telematics M&A Action, UConnect Hack Attack”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Cwolf: Telematics,it ain’t gonna stop.This is our future vehicles,and unless we want to drive old iron on a daily basis,this will keep going beyond my imagination….sigh…

  2. Rob Says:

    Seems the obvious solution is to separate the wireless conductivity from the vehicle controls. I would think the only other hack left would be the ability to unlock or start the vehicle using the RF signal used by the key fob. I believe the aviation industry has a handle on this. Otherwise imagine hacking into a DC10 and the havoc that could be had.

  3. Brian Little Says:

    Subject: The charging and Cat danger question

    The answer is that it depends on the strength of the magnetic field. Magnetic fields, if strong enough, can cause health issues. It was rumored, when the Soviet Union was still around, that the Soviets had a better feel for magnetic field health levels.

    If you notice during an MRI — the technician is away from the MRI machine. Don’t want to be exposed to all the magnetic fields for a long time.

    I don’t know the current state but I am careful when I am around strong electric or magnetic fields.


    Brian Little

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The cat would have a real problem if the wireless charging used microwaves, rather than low frequency waves that are used.

  5. HtG Says:


    So FCA thinks it’s covering itself by telling owners to bring in their car for the hack attack patch. But we know many people won’t come in right away, if at all. If a hacker exploits vulnerable cars whose drivers cause injury to any third person, who then is liable? Wasn’t it foreseeable that not everyone would get the patch?

    Even as we speak, attorneys are ordering their fang sharpeners.

  6. Puremoose Says:

    I think the BLACKBERRY system would stop Hackers.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Puremoose: What is the difference with a blackberry.Keep in mind I’m an old phart and still don’t fully utilize my S4.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Are you vulnerable to hacking through vehicle cellular connections, even if you don’t “subscribe”? I’d think you might be, at least with some cars, as they use the system to call 911 after a crash, even if you don’t pay to use the system.

  9. HtG Says:

    The biggest problem for the cat is that the owner will tire of checking under the car for mr. fluffums

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 Wasn’t Blackberry involved in the design of Uconnect? I think I heard somewhere that they were. Whoever designed it, Uconnect is one of the best of the infotainment systems, except maybe for hackability.

  11. HtG Says:

    Reading the article, it looks like these hackers, who are White Hats rather than Black Hats, found a software connection from the infotainment hardware into the CAN car control hardware. Software links are hackable, and it took these guys months to get in and rewrite the basic operating code, firmware, for the FCA car. Most people cannot do that, but once malicious code is written it’s easy for nasty types to post it and sell it to unsophisticated people who might exploit owners or go on a power trip. Too bad the FCA car didn’t recognize it had been hacked; my PC tends to know this.

    (You wonder if FCA would have publicly acknowledged this hack of Uconnect if NHTSA weren’t on their case already or if the hackers hadn’t forced them)

  12. Rob Says:

    Back to the cat comment.
    So magnetic pulses may not fry fluffy just beat his head between the bottom of the car and the charging base due to his metal collar? :-)

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I personally don’t think a cat will go near it when it’s in operation.They can sense things we can’t,and I’m pretty sure a strong magnetic field will keep the hairball away ;}>

  14. Puremoose Says:

    #7. I believe that Blackberry is working with Ford for Fords new system… I think they are selling their security

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    NO way should brakes, steering or any hard system technology be hack-able. Loss of electrical enhancement, okay, but default should always be: back to unassisted performance levels (and that was one of the arguments used when some companies were delving into ‘fly by wire’ steering). Keeping it real may have a whole new meaning (shortly).

  16. Jerry Says:

    How can they control the steering and brakes?

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Viper is suffering because they added ABS and traction control. The original Viper was a purist’s car, and more than a bit “outragious,” which was the appeal. Viper’s time has come and passed. They should probably drop it now, rather than in 2017.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    They went too far trying to “outdo” the Vette, serious sports cars buyers won’t even look at the Viper. I recall years ago, one of the car mags did a comparison between Viper Vette and other cars and the Viper blew a radiator hose during the testing, I am sure that left a bad impression for prospective buyers.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    So the new Caddy CT6, its new “flagship”, will be based on the CTS which in turn is based on the ATS!! Imagine if BMW or Merc tried the same crap, no one would give them a pass for that. The S class based on the E class which is based on the C class, LOL

  20. shan Says:

    the viper has always been a hideous, unrefined “american” muscle car.

  21. HtG Says:

    16 Steering is electrically powered and brakes are connected to stability control.

    Anybody want to buy a real car? 2002 Civic. No ABS, traction or stability control. 5speed and hydraulic steering. key locks, ignition, and wind up windows. Dealer serviced only. Owner willing to gouge.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s ok to share powertrains among a wide range of vehicles, as MB and BMW do, but it’s less ok to share platforms. Mercedes caught flack, especially early on, when the word got out that the E coupe and convertible are built on the C platform.

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG:LMFAO…..

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 I’d be interested, but as I remember, it’s not a hatchback.

  25. wmb Says:

    As alarming as all the vehicle hacking is, my question/concern is regarding the pushed toward partial and fully autonomous vehicles! If hackers have figured out how to “break-in-to” the systems of vehicles that require a driver, what’s to keep the from doing so with a vehicle that drives itself? A criminal could steal someone’s vehicle without leaving their own home, by hacking into it, programming a destination and have the vehicle simply drive itself to the chop shop! No more waiting until after dark, breaking out a window or using a slim-jim or jimmy’n the ignition. All the criminal would need is a computer/lap top/Mobil device and your vehicle is theirs, without them breaking a sweat and changing out of their PJ’s!

  26. G.A.Branigan Says:

    This discussion on here about hacking into vehicles started about 2 or 3 years ago.I don’t think there will be an end in sight anytime soon because of all the so called progress being made in driving systems/infotainment systems etc.And like most of us said several years ago….the lawyers are chompin’ at th’ bit for some freash bidness.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 The current Viper is quite refined compared to the first ones. The new ones even have side windows.

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    #21 HtG Auction it off on Ebay and you will do well indeed, but what the heck are you gonna replace it with?

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 Your car description sounds a lot like my van, except for the “dealer serviced only.” Your Civic would have something, though, that my van doesn’t have, an air bag or two.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Can you get crank windows in any car in the US market? Maybe Versa?
    I recently heard that crank windows are available in a Silverado “work truck.” That surprised me a little, since you can’t even get a manual transmission.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yes, I believe the base Versa sedan comes with crank windows and manual locks, very cheap if you’re willing to shift your own gears (most people are not)

  32. HtG Says:

    That real cheap Versa is not a happy place to be, but I recall the one I sat did have crank windows. It’s not as if crank windows are so special, really. My own driver’s side window likes to make an awful howling sound some days, so not perfect either. Take that Honda!

    As far as hacking into mobile devices, I know that security is a major focus of companies like Intel and ARM(which designs lots of the chips in cars). Intel bought one of the virus software companies a couple years ago, and ARM is designing security into its chips. But the human factor is going to be a vulnerability; like kids downloading game apps which actually target parents’ computers and cars when the kid gets in the car and plugs into the USB port. Maybe a company like Apple with a good reputation for security will be able to bring that rep into its car effort. Also consider how the smart city with all its sensors minding traffic and people will create a nice target for hackers.

  33. G.A.Branigan Says:

    When I travel,and am NOT using my gps,(in my phone),I have my data and wifi turned off.I don’t need it to get a call as long as I’m within a cell tower that is.Even with Uconnect,which will be in my new van,I don’t need,or want any kind of wifi hotspot etc.The gps in the center stack is a garmin,and runs off of gps sats.So in my case,I’m not sure how a hacker would get in,but in reality,I don’t really know for sure.Anybody know? It wasn’t clear to me in that video how they selected that guy,unless he gave them some sort of info.

  34. HtG Says:

    The Uconnect hackers haven’t yet said how they did it. But it took them months. Was that because of their own limits or was the bridge into the CAN slow? One can see how another hacker might get hold of a car X and then mess with it until they found how to hack it, then start attacking other similar X cars. Start with Camry and Accord.

  35. XA351GT Says:

    The Viper, it’s hard to make a case for it’s survival and costs to develop when by your accounting it only produced at most 17,000 cars a year. I know this will ruffle Viper fans , but they should have dumped the V10 and put in the Hell cat V8 . That V10 sounds awful. A kin to 2 5 cylinder engines . Drop a V8 in it with a great exhaust note and they might actually get people to want a few more. The Cost of that engine is what is killing the car. You can’t spread the cost over any other vehicles in the corp so it just doesn’t make good business sense to keep it.

  36. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The CT6 is built on the omega platform (ATS and CTS are on the alpha platform). The CT6 is still not the flagship; that is expected to be the CT8, which is still years away from production. The CT6 is Cadillac’s large sedan but will weigh and perform to a much smaller dynamic. Interior should be top-notch and engine choices, while no immediate V-8 offered will have a four and two sixes. If people decide ‘not to buy’ it won’t be because of platform sharing; my guess it might be because of high cost (rumored to be in and around 70 thousand to start).

  37. Brett Says:

    The basic Chevy Sonic comes with crank windows. It’s actually a pretty nice place to be although the driving experience is rather appliance-like.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 The Viper engine doesn’t sound good, especially with side pipes, where you hear only half the engine. Still, the V10 is what makes a Viper a Viper. With a V8, it would need to compete with Corvette, at Corvette prices. FCA can’t afford that, losing about $40K per car.

    They need to just drop the Viper, or maybe just shut down the plant, but not “officially” drop the car until they get the inventory down, something that isn’t happening quickly.

  39. Rob Says:

    Just drop Viper, take the hellcat motor put into the Dart and call it a day. I believe most car guys will say Dodge can build a good drag car but are far from competing with a Camaro or Mustang. The Challenger is just too big and heavy.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Given the great American trick craze, the thing to do with extra Hellcat engines would be to put them in pickups, preferably the light ones, standard cab short box. It would be cheap and easy to do, and should sell. For now, though, there are no extra Hellcat engines. They are still behind on the Challenger and Charger orders.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    A big V8 in the FWD Dart? I don’t think so!

  42. HtG Says:

    Imagine the reverse acceleration!

  43. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Imagine the torque steer,lol.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You’d be able to steer while doing a wheelie in reverse.