Uber has hired the duo behind a spectacular hack earlier this year that involved taking remote control of a Jeep Cherokee.
Wired writer Andy Greenberg experienced this firsthand. He wrote that he was driving on a St. Louis highway when Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek used a laptop 10 miles away to make the radio, air conditioning and windshield wipers go haywire. Then they cut the transmission entirely. (To be clear, this wasn’t just a terrible prank — it was a demonstration that had been arranged beforehand.)
At the time, Miller and Valasek worked as security researchers at Twitter and IOActive, respectively. But Reuters reported today that the two of them have joined Uber, and the news was confirmed in tweets by Miller and Uber’s Raffi Krikorian.
Krikorian joined Uber himself earlier this year to lead its Advanced Technologies Center. (Like Miller, Krikorian used to work at Twitter.) The center is Uber’s joint venture with Carnegie Mellon University focusing on longer-term research on technologies like self-driving cars.
So I guess that when the time comes, Uber’s self-driving cars will have some safeguards against hacking.