This post may contain affiliate links, please read our affiliate disclosure to learn more.
Chris Valasek: Car Security Researcher

Chris Valasek: Car Security Researcher

 By Charles Joseph | Cybersecurity Researcher
 Published on July 30th, 2023
This post was updated on November 25th, 2023

Chris Valasek is a distinguished cybersecurity professional known for his critical contributions to the field of car hacking. He made headlines for hacking a Jeep Cherokee with his colleague, resulting in a massive recall by Fiat Chrysler. Apart from this, he’s held key positions in top tech companies like Uber, where he was the Director of Vehicle Security, helping to enhance Uber’s self-driving technology. Valasek has also been a Principal Autonomous Vehicle Security Architect at Cruise Automation. His knowledge and expertise have established him as a leading voice in technology and cybersecurity.

1. Chris Valasek’s Groundbreaking Car Hacking Research

Chris Valasek, along with his partner Charlie Miller, pioneered groundbreaking research in the field of car hacking. They made waves in the tech world by proving that it was possible to remotely hack a Jeep Cherokee. The duo did this by exploiting several software vulnerabilities in the car’s entertainment system. They demonstrated how hackers could gain control of the vehicle’s steering, brakes, and transmission from miles away, which was a major wakeup call for the automobile industry.

Stay One Step Ahead of Cyber Threats

Want to Be the Smartest Guy in the Room? Get the Latest Cybersecurity News and Insights.
We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Following this research, Fiat Chrysler had to recall 1.4 million vehicles to fix the software vulnerability exploited by Valasek and Miller. This research not only redefined automotive cybersecurity but also led to an increased emphasis on the development and implementation of security measures in vehicle technology. Today, this research is seen as a landmark study in the area of cybersecurity.

2. His Role in Vehicle Security at Uber and Cruise Automation

After hacking the Jeep Cherokee with Charlie Miller, Chris Valasek was appointed as the Director of Vehicle Security at Uber’s Advanced Technology Center. In this role, Valasek worked on enhancing the security of Uber’s self-driving technology. His deep understanding of automotive cybersecurity made him pivotal to the advancement and protection of Uber’s fleet of autonomous vehicles.

Valasek later moved on to join Cruise Automation as their Principal Autonomous Vehicle Security Architect. Having already made a significant impact at Uber, he continued his work safeguarding autonomous vehicles at Cruise. His role involved creating and implementing security systems to protect Cruise’s self-driving cars from potential cyber threats, bringing his extensive knowledge in car hacking to ensure these vehicles are safe and reliable.

3. His Impact and Contributions to Cybersecurity

Chris Valasek’s intensive research and practical application have left a lasting impact on the field of cybersecurity, particularly around securing automobiles. His pioneering car hacking research triggered a widespread emphasis on the importance of cybersecurity in the automobile industry. As a result, manufacturers today pay close attention to developing enhanced security measures to protect vehicles from potential cyber threats.

Beyond the auto industry, Valasek is highly regarded in the general cybersecurity field. His work at Uber and Cruise Automation demonstrated his ability to innovate and reinforce automotive cybersecurity infrastructure. This has garnered him respect among his peers, established him as a thought leader, and made him a key influencer in the cybersecurity world.


Chris Valasek has significantly shaped the world of automotive cybersecurity with his innovative car hacking research and his leadership roles at Uber and Cruise. His work has heightened awareness of vehicle security, driven the development of protective measures, and established him as a leading figure in the cybersecurity sphere.

Key Takeaways

  • Chris Valasek’s car hacking research exposed significant security vulnerabilities in modern vehicles, leading to a shift in how the auto industry views and handles cybersecurity.
  • At Uber, Valasek worked to enhance the security of their self-driving technology, leveraging his experience in vehicle security.
  • As a Principal at Cruise Automation, he played a critical role in setting up the security architecture for the company’s fleet of autonomous vehicles.
  • Valasek’s work has had a significant impact on the field of cybersecurity, particularly regarding the security of autonomous vehicles.
  • His experiences and contributions have established him as a leading figure in the cybersecurity world.

Related Questions

1. What was the main impact of Chris Valasek’s car hacking research?

Valasek’s research fundamentally shifted how the auto industry viewed cybersecurity. His demonstration of remote vehicle control led to a deeper focus on secured car technology, sparking a significant recall and encouraging a more robust approach to security in the auto industry.

2. How has Valasek contributed to Uber’s self-driving technology?

As the Director of Vehicle Security at Uber, Valasek was responsible for enhancing the security of Uber’s self-driving technology. His expertise helped to fortify the security measures, ensuring the technology’s resilience against potential threats.

3. What was his role at Cruise Automation?

At Cruise Automation, Valasek held the position of Principal Autonomous Vehicle Security Architect. His task involved creating and implementing security measures to safeguard Cruise’s self-driving cars from cyber threats.

4. How has Valasek influenced the field of cybersecurity?

Valasek’s groundbreaking research and practical applications in vehicle security have been influential in the cybersecurity world. His work catalyzed the industry, guiding both preventive and responsive cybersecurity measures.

5. Why is Chris Valasek a key figure in cybersecurity?

With his novel research and pivotal roles in top tech companies, Valasek has helped to define and progress the field of automotive cybersecurity. His unique insights, experiences, and contributions have led to significant safety enhancements in the auto sector, earning him a reputation as an authority in the cybersecurity community.

"Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people."
-- Bruce Schneier, a renown computer security professional
Scroll to Top