Canadian Manufacturing

Fiat Chrysler offers hackers bounty to report cyber threats

The first major automaker to crowdsource cybersecurity, company will pay hackers between US$150 and $1,500 for spotting a software glitch



PHOTO: FCA

Last year hackers demonstrated how they could use a software glitch to take control of a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. PHOTO: FCA

DETROIT—Fiat Chrysler is turning to weekend car tinkerers and good-guy hackers to expose software vulnerability in its cars and trucks.

The Italian-American automaker is offering a bounty of US$150 to $1,500 to people who spot software bugs and report them so they can be fixed. The size of the reward depends on how critical the bug is and how many vehicles it affects.

The company will offer the bounty on the Bugcrowd platform. The platform will manage the payouts.

FCA says it’s the first automaker with a full lineup of cars and trucks to offer such a bounty, although electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. has made such offers.

Last year, hackers demonstrated how they could use a software glitch to remotely takeover of a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, hijacking control of the vehicle’s electronics and even its transmission. The company issued a voluntary recall on 1.4 million vehicles to address the safety issue shortly after.

FCA says that depending on the nature of the problems, it may make the findings public to benefit other automakers.

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