General Motors continues to recognize the potential threat increased software, computers and automation bring to the automotive sector. To combat this, it’s keen to sort out any vulnerabilities before they become an issue.
In its next step, the automaker has brought on a pair of well-known hackers: Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. The two exposed Fiat-Chrysler’s shortcomings in vehicle security after both were able to hack into a Jeep Cherokee and control functions such as the door locks, air conditioning and the radio.
“Miller and Valasek will be focused on the many challenges related to securing the autonomous vehicle ecosystem,” a GM spokeswoman said in an email. “Our cybersecurity mantra recognizes that in order to prevent the worst, you need to engage the best. We believe we can build more secure systems by bringing on the people who excel at defeating them. Protecting the safety and security of our customers is of utmost importance.”
Miller and Valasek’s hacking led FCA to recall 1.4 million vehicles that were vulnerable to outside threats—owners were sent flashdrives to update their vehicles’ systems. Their future work will likely influence major portions of GM’s self-driving car business, which it has almost entirely handed off to Cruise Automation. The subsidiary will hire 1,100 new employees over the next five years.