Fiat Chrysler is offering payouts ranging from $150 to $1,500 to those who can expose potential weaknesses in its vehicle’s computer systems, the automaker said today.
With the ‘public bug bounty program’, FCA is looking to improve the safety and security of its vehicles and connected services. It will be run through crowd sourced cybersecurity website Bugcrowd, which will provide the payments to those hackers who are successful in exposing weak links in FCA’s security systems.
“There are a lot of people that like to tinker with their vehicles or tinker with IT systems,” Titus Melnyk, senior manager of security architecture at FCA, said in a statement. “We want to encourage independent security researchers to reach out to us and share what they’ve found so that we can fix potential vulnerabilities before they’re an issue for our consumers.”
As vehicles become more reliant on computers to safely operate, the potential for hackers to take advantage of said systems grows. FCA experienced this first hand last July when it was forced to recall 1.4 million Jeep Cherokees due to a vulnerability in the crossover’s Uconnect infotainment system. That bug allowed hackers to wirelessly access vehicle’s systems, giving them control over the steering, transmission, brakes and more.
“Automotive cybersafety is real, critical, and here to stay,” added Bugcrowd CEO Casey Ellis. “The consumer is starting to understand that these days the car is basically a two ton computer. FCA US customers are the real winners of this bounty program; they’re receiving an even safer and more secure product both now and into the future.”
Follow this Bugcrowd link for more information on FCA’s bug bounty program and how you can participate.