A disgruntled former employee is charged with hacking into the company's web-based remote immobilization to disable about 100 cars bought by customers who agreed to the leash because their credit rating would have made it impossible otherwise to get financing.
The technology is an opt-in technique the company requires to insure the trust they have that credit-challenged buyers will make payments on time is not misplaced — as well the car the Repo Man will come looking for when they don't. But these Austin, Texas customers had done no wrong.
It was a foolish payback prank that made a bad situation even worse for 20-year-old Omar Ramos-Lopez, now under arrest for "computer intrusion." But is this a Big Brother threat? Not so much.
I talk it through with Celeste Headlee and John Hockenberry on 'The Takeway' (which, for this segment, should probably be called 'The Getaway.')
Original reporting by Kevin Poulsen on Wired.com's Threat Level. At 3:30 am PT, the hit would have been too unfriendly for Kev, so he signaled the bull pen for a right-coaster.