Uber has taken away Charlie Miller from Twitter and Chris Valasek from security firm IOActive to work closely with information security executives at the company. The ride-hailing firm announced on Friday that it has hired the top vehicle security researchers to work with its infosec bods. They will assume their job roles at the cab aggregator company next week after having resigned from their jobs from Twitter Inc. and IOActive.
In the process of rolling out its plans to develop driverless cars, Uber has now hired the two security researchers who had received quite a lot of attention by the public this month. The two genius minds demonstrated an easy way to launch a hack attack on moving Jeep Cherokee. They successfully displayed their ability to control the car’s brakes, engines, and minor systems even if they were several miles away. It was eventually proved that by merely possessing knowledge of the car’s public IP address, it was possible to execute complete control over the vehicle’s components.
While the San Francisco-based company is on its way to revise its business strategy, the decision to hire security experts Miller and Valasek is expected to be fruitful for the company. They will join the Advanced Technologies Center at Uber and will be tasked with building a ‘world-class safety and security program’ at the firm. The Center had been set up as a research laboratory at Pittsburgh in February this year. In order to build self-driving cars, Uber recruited 40 top scientists and researchers from Carnegie Mellon University demonstrating expertise in the autonomous vehicle segment.
With the aim to revamp its technology work at Uber, the cab app firm has taken initiatives like approaching research centers and top-tier universities to hoard talented individuals. It has also tied up with the University of Arizona according to a partnership announcement made by Uber on Tuesday. The deal involves granting of money by Uber to the University for funding research related to mapping and safety technology for autonomous vehicles. The plan is to test the developed technology on the streets of Tucson, Arizona. This is not all! To make use of technology involving search and turn-by-turn directions, Uber bought California-based (San Jose) digital mapping firm deCarta in March.
Vehicle security experts were hired to help make technology more secure. To execute this plan, Miller will join Uber on Tuesday while Valasek will serve his last day at IOActive on Monday as is evident from their recent tweets.
Hacking of autonomous vehicles has become a major issue these days. The efforts by Miller and Valasek were coordinated with manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. This resulted in the first vehicle recall to protect drivers from possible hacking. Another issue involves FCA USA LLC recalling 1.4 million vehicles to install software to prevent hackers from gaining full control of engines, brakes and steering using the cellular network. Incessant efforts towards ensuring security will positively benefit Uber and avoid future recalling of the autonomous vehicles built by the company.