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Fiat Chrysler solicits the help of friendly hackers to catch bugs
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will offer a cash bounty to any hacker that finds and reports an issue with the cyber security of one of its vehicles. The Auburn Hills, Michigan automaker is partnering with Bugcrowd, an online forum that connects companies, such as FCA, with skilled programmers who voluntarily comb through IT systems in search of security weaknesses to report back to the company. In this case, if a programmer finds and reports a bug in a FCA-made vehicle that represents a “reproducible and legitimate vunerabilit[y],” he or she can earn a bounty between $150 and $1,500, depending on the scope and scale of the bug.
As technology and connectivity in cars continues to evolve, vehicles are becoming vulnerable to cyber-attacks on an increasing number of fronts, as friendly hackers demonstrated on this 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV andthis Jeep Cherokee. Tesla also uses Bugcrowd, offering as much as $10,000 for some bugs—so far it has given out 135 cash rewards. Don’t be surprised if other automakers implement so-called “Bug Bounty” programs or similar strategies in the near future to help protect their customers’ safety and privacy.