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Uber hires engineers who remotely hacked into Jeep

Saturday, August 29, 2015 - 11:50
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Uber Technologies is negotiating cheaper deals for new vehicles with Kia Motors Corp. to boost its number of drivers fivefold in the Nigerian city of Lagos, Africa's biggest, to 3,000 by the end of next year.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Uber Technologies Inc. has hired the two computer-security engineers who hacked into a Jeep Cherokee, gaining control of the car's steering, brakes and engine.

Chris Valasek, director of vehicle-security research at IOActive, and Charlie Miller, who worked at Twitter Inc, will join Uber's Advanced Technologies Center, the San Francisco- based car-booking company said in a statement Friday.

The duo's hack of the car, made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, helped to raise awareness as cars become loaded with more technology and make them vulnerable to risks that didn't exist before.

The automaker recalled 1.4 million vehicles as a result of the hack, which was detailed by Wired magazine in July. They'll work closely with Uber's Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan and Chief Information Security Officer John Flynn, Uber said.

Uber, which set up a research and development lab in Pittsburgh with Carnegie Mellon University earlier this year, is working to develop self-driving automobiles and pushing to improve its mapping and global-positioning technology. Travis Kalanick, Uber's chief executive officer, has said that Uber's fleet will be self-driving one day.

Uber said Mr Valasek and Mr Miller are part of a push to "continue building out a world-class safety and security program at Uber." Reuters reported earlier on the hiring.

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