Jesus Chrysler! 1.4m vehicles recalled in US over car-hacking fear

24 Jul 2015

Fiat Chrysler has begun recalling 1.4m vehicles in the US after security researchers were able to take control of a car wirelessly.

Fiat Chrysler has issued a safety recall affecting 1.4m cars in the US after security researchers this week revealed that one of its cars could be hacked.

“The recall aligns with an ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation, which, if unauthorised, constitutes criminal action,” the company said.

Customers are being urged to contact Fiat Chrysler for a software update if their vehicle is part of the recall.

“The security of FCA US customers is a top priority, as is retaining their confidence in the company’s products,” the company said.

“Accordingly, FCA US has established a dedicated System Quality Engineering team focused on identifying and implementing best practices for software development and integration.”

Cars can be jacked by hackers

Earlier this week, security researchers proved that they were able to execute a zero-day exploit on a Jeep Cherokee manufactured by Fiat Chrysler.

The hackers were able to take control of a jeep’s air conditioning, wipers, radio and dash console.

But also they were able to take control of the vehicle, drop transmission and stop the accelerator from working.

The revelation coincided with new legislation proposed by Democratic senators Edward J. Markey and Richard Blumenthal, which would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish federal standards to secure cars and protect drivers’ privacy.

The Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act also establishes a rating system — or “cyber dashboard”— that informs consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers’ security and privacy beyond those minimum standards.

“Drivers shouldn’t have to choose between being connected and being protected,” said Senator Markey.

“We need clear rules of the road that protect cars from hackers and American families from data trackers.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years