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SA Jeeps immune to cyber hacks - here's why

2015-07-23 08:54

SA JEEPS SAFE: Fiat Chrsyler Automobiles claims Jeeps sold outside the US are safe from being cyber hacked. Image: YouTube

LONDON, England - Two veteran cyber-security researchers showed they can use the internet to turn off a moving car's engine, sharply raising the stakes in the debate about the safety of increasingly "connected" cars and trucks, Wheels24 reported on Wednesday (July 22 2015).

The hackers used a feature in the Fiat Chrysler telematics system Uconnect to break into a Jeep Cherokee being driven on the highway by a reporter for technology news site Wired.com.

Now the automaker group has spoken up as many Jeep owners have been alarmed.

SA NOT AFFECTED

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) says the hack report published in Wired Magazine was conducted through an embedded cellular modem, a feature "that IS NOT available in vehicles sold outside of the US", since international markets are currently not offering the same connectivity feature as the US market vehicles.

Based on these findings, Jeep says, vehicles sold in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) are not exposed to the type of attack the magazine has reported. 

The automaker says: "Under no circumstances does Fiat Chrysler Automobiles condone or believe it’s appropriate to disclose 'how-to information' that would potentially encourage, or help enable hackers to gain unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems.

"FCA has a dedicated team from System Quality Engineering focused on identifying and implementing software best practices across the company globally. The team’s responsibilities include development and implementation of cyber-security standards for all vehicle content, including on-board and remote services."

CYBER SECURITY

The Group also claims it released a US market- specific software update that offers customers improved vehicle electronic security and communications system enhancements. The company monitors and tests the information systems of all of its products to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities in the ordinary course of business. 

Similar to a smartphone or tablet, vehicle software can require updates for improved security protection to reduce the potential risk of unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems, says the automaker. Jeep further says it provides its customers around the world with regular software updates through its dealer network.



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