As technology moves forward, more and more of our everyday gadgets will be connected to the Internet. With that convenience may come some vulnerabilities. On July 24, 2015, Chrysler and its parent company FCA US LLC (FCA US) announced a recall of 1.4 million Dodge, Ram, and Jeep vehicles due to the vehicles’ software hacking vulnerabilities that were discovered at a media demonstration. Chrysler determined that hackers could potentially access a vehicle’s radio, windshield wipers, and transmission remotely. Chrysler’s vehicles have not been hacked at this point, but they want to recall the vehicles to prevent any such attack in the future. Chrysler is installing new security features and adding additional anti-hacking measures to protect is vehicles and its customers. Chrysler made a statement assuring the public that “[n]o defect has been found. FCA US is conducting this campaign out of an abundance of caution. The software manipulation addressed by this recall required unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code.”
However, Chrysler’s software update is not the end of this issue. After the recall announcement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the effectiveness of the software updates. Additionally, Sen. Edward J. Markey and Sen. Richard Blumenthal introduced the Security and Privacy in Your Car Act (or SPY Car Act) which would direct the NHTSA to develop cybersecurity standards for vehicles.
This recall and investigation is one of the first in the new Internet of Things era. This will certainly not be the last.