Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will patch 1.4 million US vehicles following the reveal of a hacking method by Wired. The “voluntary safety recall” — which it seems will come in the form of a USB dongle — applies to vehicles equipped with 8.4-inch touchscreen in-car-entertainment systems. Affected cars include Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs, Dodge Ram pickups and many others. If you’re concerned your vehicle may be affected, you can see the full list here.
FCA is obviously acting fast to patch the problem, and it’s clear why. As Wired details, the hack makes it possible to “kill” the engine, remotely activate or disable the brakes, and keep tabs on a vehicle’s location. Full steering control is currently being worked on. The party responsible for the hack revealed it would “publish a portion of their exploit” openly on the web, timed to coincide with the Black Hat security conference in August.
Although the company clearly accepts that the issues are serious, it notes that it’s “unaware of any injuries related to software exploitation, nor is it aware of any related complaints, warranty claims or accidents – independent of the media demonstration.” It adds that it’s “conducting this campaign out of an abundance of caution.”