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Fiat Chrysler Is Offering A Bounty to Hackers

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Jeep Cherokee Hack

Fiat Chrysler is asking hackers to make its software system more secure
Photo: YouTube

Fiat Chrysler wants its vehicles to be as safe as possible, which is why it has decided to offer a bounty to any hacker that can find weaknesses in the software in its vehicles.  This bounty won’t be chump change, either. Hackers who notify the company of security vulnerabilities through a specific program on can get a cash reward between $150 and $1,500.

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The bounty program is going to focus mostly on various systems that interact with Fiat Chrysler’s models. This includes the brand’s Uconnect infotainment system and its owner websites.

“There have been a number of things where people have reached out to us through customer care and other contact methods where they highlighted things that were of interest,” said Titus Melnyk, Fiat Chrysler’s senior manager for security architecture. He went on to say that the program “is just a nice, official way to make it easier for people to contact us and know what we’re really interested in.”

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It really comes as no surprise that the American carmaker is looking to increase the security of its Uconnect software system. This time last year, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek—professional hackers—showed just how easy it was to hack a 2014 Jeep Cherokee that was being driven by a journalist. In a few minutes, the hackers were able to gain control of every Jeep function, from its windshield wipers to its accelerator pedal.

Needless to say, when this hack became public, Fiat Chrysler had to release a software patch to give its customers peace of mind. The patch actually covered weaknesses in other vehicles equipped with the brand’s 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system.

Fiat Chrysler is the first mass-market carmaker to offer bounties to hackers, following in the footsteps of Tesla.

News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)