Detroit, MI — July 26, 2015 — Vehicle recalls can occur not just because of faulty components, but out of fears for outside attacks on vulnerable systems. According to the Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) latest recall addresses cybersecurity issues within affected vehicles that could have massively damaging consequences for owners. Dodge Ram, Jeep Grand Cherokee and other vehicles from model years 2013 to 2015 reportedly have potentially dangerous software flaws in their “radios.”
While most of the recalls this blog has covered concern internal problems with defective autos, this issue is a concern because of the way it could potentially be exploited by hackers. The official recall acknowledgement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that outsiders could gain “unauthorized remote modification” of vehicle systems through these vulnerabilities.
As alarming as that may sound, there are some factors that mitigate the potential danger somewhat. For one, the manufacturer has already taken steps to prevent outsiders from accessing the vehicle, leading to real risk for only 3 percent of mobile hot spot subscribers.
The recall safety report issued for this action also emphasizes the unlikelihood that an exploit might take place, given how much knowledge is needed to put one into action. The remedy for this problem is a software update that can be downloaded to a USB drive.
“Some 2013-2015 MY vehicles equipped with RA3 or RA4 model radios have certain software security vulnerabilities which could allow unauthorized third-party access to some networked vehicle control systems,” the source says. “Exploitation of the software security vulnerabilities required extensive technical knowledge, physical access to a subject vehicle and a long period of time to write applicable code.”
Along with acknowledgment and government action, recalls should be supported through education and informative services that encourage drivers and owners to respond correctly.