Chrysler recalls 1.4 million vehicles at risk of being hacked over the Internet

How secure is that control panel?
How secure is that control panel?
Image: Reuters/Allison Joyce
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Fiat Chrysler has initiated a recall of approximately 1.4 million cars and trucks because of the risk that they could be hijacked remotely by hackers—a scenario that was recently described in detail by Wired.

The recalled vehicles—including the 2014 and 2015 models of Jeep Grand Cherokees, Chrysler sedans, and Dodge Challengers, Chargers, Durangos, Rams, and Vipers—are all equipped with radio systems and touchscreens that could potentially be accessed and manipulated remotely.

A statement from the auto company said the type of manipulation the Wired article described requires “unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code.” The company claimed there is no defect in any of the cars’ software, and that the recall is being conducted “out of an abundance of caution.”

Wired reported that a patch to the security holes described in its article was being offered as a download by Fiat Chrysler, and would require either the insertion of a USB stick or a trip to the dealership. Fiat Chrysler also said it applied new security measures to its network yesterday, which “block remote access to certain vehicle systems.”

Some observers have questioned why it took so long for Fiat Chrysler, which was approached for comment before the Wired article was published, to issue a fix.

Andy Greenberg, who penned the Wired piece, said the automaker has known of the problem for quite some time: