Fiat Chrysler Offers Software Patch For Some Internet-Connected Vehicles After Hackers Hijack Jeep

After a journalist’s report of being inside a 2014 Jeep Cherokee while hackers miles away took over his car as part of an experiment, Fiat Chrysler has announced it’s offering a software patch for some of its internet-connected vehicles. That being said, the company didn’t directly acknowledge the hacking event itself.

The company released a statement saying that just like other technology like smartphones and tablets, sometimes vehicle software updates are required “for improved security protection to reduce the potential risk of unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems.”

“The software security update, provided at no cost to customers, also includes Uconnect improvements introduced in the 2015 model year designed to enhance customer convenience and enjoyment of their vehicle,” Fiat Chrysler says, via Automotive News.

A story on Wired.com by Andy Greenberg on Tuesday told how hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek had remotely taken control of the Jeep he was driving, as part of a pre-arranged demonstration designed to call attention to the Uconnect Infotainment system’s vulnerability. It’s installed in 2013-14 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles, and the 2015 Chrysler 200, with an 8.4-inch touch screen and Wi-Fi hot spot.

Fiat Chrysler doesn’t have the capability to push software to affected systems wirelessly, so the company is instead directing drivers to www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/ where they can download the security patch themselves, or take their vehicle to a dealer for the software to be upgraded for free.

The hackers had said they were planning on releasing part of the code they used to infiltrate the system at an upcoming Black Hat conference, to convince automakers that their products are vulnerable. Fiat Chrysler does not approve.

“Under no circumstances does FCA condone or believe it’s appropriate to disclose ‘how-to information’ that would potentially encourage, or help enable hackers to gain unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems,” the company said in the statement.

Jeep hacking prompts FCA software update to enhance security [Automotive News]