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Uber Hires Car Hackers Charlie Miller, Chris Valasek

Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, famous hardware hackers who recently demonstrated that some Fiat Chrysler cars can be remotely hijacked, have been hired by ride-hailing giant Uber.

Miller revealed last week that he was leaving Twitter, the social media firm he had been working for in the past three years. The car hacking expert announced late on Friday that he will be working at Uber’s Advanced Technology Center.

The Advanced Technology Center was launched in February as part of a strategic partnership between Uber and Carnegie Mellon University. The center focuses on research and development, mainly in areas such as mapping, vehicle safety, and autonomy technology (i.e. self-driving cars).

Valasek also announced on Friday that he is leaving IOActive, the security firm where he had served as director of vehicle security research.

Both Miller and Valasek will join Uber’s Advanced Technology Center in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Miller and Valasek started hacking cars in 2013, when they managed to take control of several functions on a Toyota Prius. They took things even further this year when they remotely hacked a Jeep through the Uconnect feature offered by Fiat Chrysler for several of its cars.

Following the vehicle hacking demonstration, the company recalled 1.4 million cars to have their software updated.

Intelligent features expose cars to hacker attacks, a fact demonstrated on several occasions this summer by researchers. Such research has led U.S. senators to call for the introduction of new legislation designed to protect drivers against security and privacy risks. The auto industry has also announced its intention to create an information sharing and analysis center that will focus on enhancing cyber security in cars.

Uber announced in April that it hired former Facebook security chief Joe Sullivan as its first ever Chief Security Officer, just weeks after the company disclosed that adata breach may have allowed malicious actors to gain access to the driver’s license numbers of roughly 50,000 of its drivers.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.