Cars that are so smart (and hackable)

We know, we know, just like many "smart" things, cars can be hacked. But a recent report says the most hackable cars are the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, 2015 Cadillac Escalade and 2014 Toyota Prius.

That's according to CNNMoney, which said a couple of security researchers looked at 20 car models and their tech configurations. The researchers did not hack the cars themselves.

Their findings for the most hackable cars sound alarming because they have a common theme: having the steering, braking and engine controls on the same networks as the vehicles' apps and Bluetooth could mean a threat to safety.

This isn't the first time the Prius has been mentioned in the same breath as "hack." Last year, a report showed ways the car could be hacked.

Basically, anything that's connected to a network probably can be hacked: Think medical devices, light bulbs, traffic-management systems. And Steve Johnson, who covers the microchip industry, cyber security and the big-technology sector that includes Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Cisco Systems, recently wrote about a separate report by HP that showed vulnerabilities in many commonly used Internet devices.

But back to the new report written about by CNNMoney. The least hackable cars, according to the researchers' analysis: the 2014 Dodge Viper and 2014 Audi A8. And note Cadillac's response: "The report does not mention many new security features and mechanisms installed in the Escalade, and its description of the vehicle's electronic system is not fully accurate."

San Jose Mercury News

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