I spun the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass. As I tried to cope with all this, a picture of the two hackers performing these stunts appeared on the car's digital display: Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, wearing their trademark track suits. A nice touch, I thought. I'd come to St. Louis to be Miller and Valasek's digital crash-test dummy, a willing subject on whom they could test the car-hacking research they'd been doing over the past year. The result of their work was a hacking technique—what the security industry calls a zero-day exploit—that can target Jeep Cherokees and give the attacker wireless control, via the Internet, to any of thousands of vehicles.
To better simulate the experience of driving a vehicle while it's being hijacked by an invisible, virtual force, Miller and Valasek refused to tell me ahead of time what kinds of attacks they planned to launch from Miller's laptop in his house 10 miles west. Instead, they merely assured me that they wouldn't do anything life-threatening.
Then they told me to drive the Jeep onto the highway. As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. That's when they cut the transmission. Immediately my accelerator stopped working.
As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun. At that point, the interstate began to slope upward, so the Jeep lost more momentum and barely crept forward. Cars lined up behind my bumper before passing me, honking. I could see an wheeler approaching in my rearview mirror. I hoped its driver saw me, too, and could tell I was paralyzed on the highway.
The semi loomed in the mirror, bearing down on my immobilized Jeep. I followed Miller's advice: I didn't panic. I did, however, drop any semblance of bravery, grab my iPhone with a clammy fist, and beg the hackers to make it stop.
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This wasn't the first time Miller and Valasek had put me behind the wheel of a compromised car. In the summer of , I drove a Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius around a South Bend, Indiana, parking lot while they sat in the backseat with their laptops, cackling as they disabled my brakes, honked the horn, jerked the seat belt, and commandeered the steering wheel. A mere two years later, that carjacking has gone wireless. Miller and Valasek plan to publish a portion of their exploit on the Internet, timed to a talk they're giving at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month.
The attack tools Miller and Valasek developed can remotely trigger more than the dashboard and transmission tricks they used against me on the highway. They demonstrated as much on the same day as my traumatic experience on I; After narrowly averting death by semi-trailer, I managed to roll the lame Jeep down an exit ramp, re-engaged the transmission by turning the ignition off and on, and found an empty lot where I could safely continue the experiment.
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The most disturbing maneuver came when they cut the Jeep's brakes, leaving me frantically pumping the pedal as the 2-ton SUV slid uncontrollably into a ditch. The researchers say they're working on perfecting their steering control—for now they can only hijack the wheel when the Jeep is in reverse. Their hack enables surveillance too: They can track a targeted Jeep's GPS coordinates, measure its speed, and even drop pins on a map to trace its route. All of this is possible only because Chrysler, like practically all carmakers, is doing its best to turn the modern automobile into a smartphone.
Uconnect, an Internet-connected computer feature in hundreds of thousands of Fiat Chrysler cars, SUVs, and trucks, controls the vehicle's entertainment and navigation, enables phone calls, and even offers a Wi-Fi hot spot. And thanks to one vulnerable element, which Miller and Valasek won't identify until their Black Hat talk, Uconnect's cellular connection also lets anyone who knows the car's IP address gain access from anywhere in the country. From that entry point, Miller and Valasek's attack pivots to an adjacent chip in the car's head unit—the hardware for its entertainment system—silently rewriting the chip's firmware to plant their code.
That rewritten firmware is capable of sending commands through the car's internal computer network, known as a CAN bus, to its physical components like the engine and wheels.
Miller and Valasek say the attack on the entertainment system seems to work on any Chrysler vehicle with Uconnect from late , all of , and early They've only tested their full set of physical hacks, including ones targeting transmission and braking systems, on a Jeep Cherokee, though they believe that most of their attacks could be tweaked to work on any Chrysler vehicle with the vulnerable Uconnect head unit. They have yet to try remotely hacking into other makes and models of cars.
After the researchers reveal the details of their work in Vegas, only two things will prevent their tool from enabling a wave of attacks on Jeeps around the world. But the code they publish will enable many of the dashboard hijinks they demonstrated on me as well as GPS tracking. Second, Miller and Valasek have been sharing their research with Chrysler for nearly nine months, enabling the company to quietly release a patch ahead of the Black Hat conference. If consumers don't realize this is an issue, they should, and they should start complaining to carmakers. This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone.
Download the update here. That means many—if not most—of the vulnerable Jeeps will likely stay vulnerable. But the company also seemed leery of their decision to publish part of their exploit. However, we caution advocates that in the pursuit of improved public safety they not, in fact, compromise public safety. The two researchers say that even if their code makes it easier for malicious hackers to attack unpatched Jeeps, the release is nonetheless warranted because it allows their work to be proven through peer review.
It also sends a message: Automakers need to be held accountable for their vehicles' digital security. In fact, Miller and Valasek aren't the first to hack a car over the Internet. In a team of researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California at San Diego showed that they could wirelessly disable the locks and brakes on a sedan.
But those academics took a more discreet approach, keeping the identity of the hacked car secret and sharing the details of the exploit only with carmakers. Carmakers who failed to heed polite warnings in now face the possibility of a public dump of their vehicles' security flaws. The result could be product recalls or even civil suits, says UCSD computer science professor Stefan Savage, who worked on the study.
For the auto industry and its watchdogs, in other words, Miller and Valasek's release may be the last warning before they see a full-blown zero-day attack. That implicit assumption is now dead. Sitting on a leather couch in Miller's living room as a summer storm thunders outside, the two researchers scan the Internet for victims. Uconnect computers are linked to the Internet by Sprint's cellular network, and only other Sprint devices can talk to them.
He's using the burner phone as a Wi-Fi hot spot, scouring for targets using its thin 3G bandwidth. A set of GPS coordinates, along with a vehicle identification number, make, model, and IP address, appears on the laptop screen. He keeps scanning, and the next vehicle to appear on his screen is a Jeep Cherokee driving around a highway cloverleaf between San Diego and Anaheim, California.
Then he locates a Dodge Durango, moving along a rural road somewhere in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. When I ask him to keep scanning, he hesitates. Find out about its size, products, and profits. Learn about the industry. You can then show your knowledge and understanding of the company in your answers.
When you have prepared your answers, practice them. Ask a friend or family member to ask you questions.
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Then, you can say your answers again and again. Then you will remember the information well. An employer will often start an interview with a question like this.
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But employers do not want to hear your whole life history. Talk about the parts of your life that prepare you for this particular job. You should talk about what you studied at college or university, your past jobs and your interest in the area of work. Remember to explain why your past experience has led you to want this particular job.
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Give three examples of your strong qualities or skills. Choose qualities that are important for the particular job. Then give some real examples of when you have used them. Many people find it difficult to answer the question about their areas of weakness. But you must not say that you have no weaknesses. Only state one! Choose a minor failing that is not necessary to the job. Turn it into a positive, such as how you have worked on the weakness.
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Or you could present it as a chance for development. The employer wants to know that you understand what the job is about. Your answer should show how and why you would be perfect for the job. Again, remember that you are selling yourself. Explain what you can do for the company. Your research about the company will help you create a good answer. You will be able to explain how your goals relate to what the company wants. The employer wants to see that you have considered your future.
You should show your excitement about the job and the industry. You should also explain how you plan to progress. This will show the employer that you will try hard to move forward. You must always have one or two questions to ask. This shows your real interest in the job. Prepare a few questions about the job or company, so that you are ready. Employers will also ask other questions. They often ask you to give real examples of how you behaved in particular situations.
For example, how you dealt with conflict, or how you provided leadership. Bob Lotich wrote about his experience of job interviews. He found it difficult to think of examples during the interview. But he solved this problem,. Three of the most common ones that I saw in my job interviews were:. How I helped solve a problem at work A time when I made a mistake and how I fixed it How I dealt with an unpleasant worker. I would go into the interview with examples from my past.
The questions were often a little different. But most of the time I could find a way to use that story in an answer to their questions. I did not have the pressure or difficulty of trying to think about it quickly. Like Lotich, you can prepare stories of your experience to share. Work on these stories in the same way that you work on your answers to the other questions. Then you will feel prepared for your job interview. When you walk into the interview, greet the interviewers. And during the interview you will be expected to look the employer in the eye.
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The employer will consider this behaviour as a sign of honesty and respect for what is being said. People in other countries and cultures may expect different behaviour. For example, in many Latin American and Asian countries the employer will consider it disrespectful to look him in the eye. You must make sure that you understand the culture of the employer.
Stay calm during the interview. Do not worry if you do not understand a question. Do not be afraid to ask the employer if he could explain the question further. Be positive and be confident. The interview will soon be over. Then you can rest! If you are offered the job you can celebrate. But what if you are not offered the job? You may ask the employer to comment on your interview performance. You should think about your interview experience. This will help you improve for the next time.