Fiat Chrysler recall attempt at “unhacking the hack” on dashboard computer system

Jul 24, 2015

It took professional hackers months to hack into the on board computer system pictured here. But they were able to do it. Now Fiat Chrysler is recalling the vehicles.
Credit Courtesy photo / Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 1.4 million vehicles to prevent hackers from being able to remotely control the cars and trucks.

A couple of professional hackers worked with a reporter for Wired magazine to remotely access the computer system in a Jeep Cherokee. The magazine has posted a video showing what hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek could do.

They kill the engine, disable the brakes, mess with the A/C and the radio.

“I think Chrysler doesn’t want to even remotely appear nonchalant about this problem. They want to be all over this thing and that’s what they’re doing,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

Fiat Chrysler is boosting the security of its internet based system. The two hackers say they’ve been unable to hack the Cherokee since that fix.

The company also plans to mail USB drives loaded with a software update to those affected. Brauer says that could make the recall expensive.