Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.4 mn vehicles in US after Jeep hack-hijack

25 Jul 2015


Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of about 1.4 million cars and trucks in the US yesterday after two hackers took control of a Jeep over the internet.

The recall, which includes Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Chrysler, comes after Wired magazine published an article on Tuesday which detailed how two hackers remotely manipulated a Jeep Cherokee's transmission, radio, air conditioning and other systems (See: Security researchers hijack cars remotely).

The company said that the hackers gained access to the Jeep through an electronic opening in the radio and said it would update the software to fix it.

On Thursday, Fiat Chrysler plugged a loophole in its internal cellular telephone network with vehicles to prevent similar attacks, according to the automaker's statement.

The vulnerability laid bare by the hack sent the auto industry in a tizzy and drew the attention of government safety regulators, who yesterday, launched an investigation into the Jeep incident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it would find out which other automakers used the same radios.

The move comes as the industry is rapidly adding internet-connected features such as Wi-Fi and navigation that were convenient for drivers but made the car more vulnerable to outside attacks.

Soon after the hack was disclosed, Fiat Chrysler said it would contact owners of 471,000 vehicles and offer software updates to fixi the problem.

According to documents, the wider recall came at the prompting of government safety regulators.

Meanwhile, two Democrats introduced a bill on Tuesday that would direct the NHTSA to develop standards for isolating critical software and detect hacking as it occurred.

FCA said in its recall announcement yesterday that it was not aware of any injuries related to software exploitation.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs from model years 2014 and 2015 and 2015 Dodge Challenger sports coupes, are among the recalled vehicles.

According to the FCA, affected customers would get a memory stick to upgrade vehicle software that would provide additional security.

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