Cars Are Vulnerable to Remote Attacks, Researchers to Prove

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2015-07-24 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Researchers will show how hackers might access cars remotely; Qualcomm plans to cut 15 percent of jobs, considers breakup; Apple Watch quarterly sales top 2 million, Juniper Research finds; and there's more.

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Today's topics include claims that automobiles can be remotely hacked and disabled, layoffs at Qualcomm, estimates on sales of the Apple Watch and news that the Federal Communications Commission chairman is in favor of approving the proposed AT&T and DirecTV deal.

Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have made a career out of hacking cars. Valasek is the director of vehicle security research at IOactive, and Miller is a security researcher at Twitter. The pair are scheduled to speak at the Black Hat Conference in August to provide new details about their success in hacking car electronics in a session titled "Remote Exploitation of an Unaltered Passenger Vehicle."

As has been their custom in the past three years, Miller and Valasek have provided an early demonstration of their research to a media outlet to hype up worries about the risks of car hacking.

Qualcomm, whose year got off to a rough start when Samsung decided not to use the chip maker's new Snapdragon 810 processor in its Galaxy S6 smartphone, is now in the process of cutting 15 percent of its workforce and is considering splitting the company in two.

After weeks of speculation about what direction the vendor would take, CEO Steve Mollenkopf on July 22 said that Qualcomm will slash annual costs by about $1.4 billion through such measures as layoffs, streamlining the engineering organization, shedding some facilities and outsourcing work to lower-costs regions.

Apple sold an estimated 2 million to 2.5 million Apple Watches in the latest quarter—bringing in revenue of about $1 billion and making it the best-selling smartwatch on the market, according to a report from Juniper Research. Apple will sell more than 6 million smartwatches by year-end, Juniper predicts.

Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri remarked that the Watch has sold more than the first iPhone or the iPad in a comparable period—that is, 87 days.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has recommended that the commission vote to approve AT&T's $49 billion acquisition of satellite television service provider DirecTV with some conditions. The conditions for approval by the FCC would require that AT&T build on the FCC's current Open Internet order by preventing discrimination against online video competition and providing greater transparency to its interconnection practices.

Wheeler stated, "If the conditions are approved by my colleagues, 12.5 million customer locations will have access to a competitive high-speed fiber connection."



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