The story that Wired ran about the Jeep hack has been one of the most talked about car stories of the year. It is easy to see why; the whole thing seems pulled from a sci-fi action movie. Since the news broke, Chrysler has been providing information to drivers about what they can do to update their vehicle to stop the method that Wired used.
Today they put out a press statement with more details on their next step.
Actions speak louder than words.
When we first learned of the ability for others to hack into some of our 8.4-inch touchscreen systems, we developed, tested and implemented a software patch. Owners had the option to see if their vehicle was affected and if so, they could install the update.
Since then, we’ve taken more steps to ensure the confidence and security of our customers.
This recall applies to vehicles with the 8.4-inch touchscreen featured in the original article. The previous method that Chrysler put out, for drivers to update the software themselves, is still available. Chrysler will now be providing drivers with a USB drive in the mail with the update preloaded on to it so they can install it. Another method is for drivers to contact their local CDJR dealer and speak with the service team to get the patch.
On their statement, FCA includes a list of the vehicles that may have their 8.4-inch touchscreen affected. If you’re worried this may affect you, please check to see if your vehicle is on the list.
One thing that FCA wants to make clear is that this is not something that an average hacker sitting at their computer could do to a random passerby. The hack that occurred on the Wired writer’s Jeep was very different than a real-world hack.
As was noted in the initial story, the ability to hack a vehicle is not easy. It took the two security researchers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, months to tap into and control certain systems of Miller’s SUV. They are experts.
The software update addressed by the recall, after the security steps we took July 23, would require unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write the appropriate code.
There is no defect in the affected 8.4-inch touchscreen system. We have taken these additional steps to demonstrate that the security of our customers is truly a priority.
If you need to speak with our service department about updating your software on any of the listed vehicles, please contact us at 718-229-8700 and ask to speak with the service department. Make sure you like us on Facebook and Google+ and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on auto news.