Posted on August 9, 2016
Fiat Chrysler Unhacks Cars Using White-Hat Hackers
If you’ve never heard of “white-hat hackers”, you will certainly appreciate how valuable they are when it comes to figuring out everything there is to know about how to hack into a car, so that it can be stopped. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has taken a giant leap forward by using white-hat hackers to fight crime, through an innovative program called the Bug Bounty Program.
With the assistance of a tech firm based in San Francisco called Bugcrowd, to manage some organized hacking with a view to finding automotive software vulnerabilities. The program is essentially a contest being managed by Bugcrowd to try and find security flaws in the software in cars. This will be welcome news to Mississauga drivers who, above all, want to be at risk for theft through someone hacking into its internal computers. The way FCA and Bugcrowd have set it up is that the contest is a race to find ways that cars can be hacked into so that those weaknesses can be fixed. Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate all risk for anyone of ever having a car stolen by computer hacking. This effort comes at a time when cars are more complex as well as more connected than ever, causing automakers to find effective ways to secure them.
According to Fiat Chrysler's senior manager of security architecture, Titus Melnyk, "We want to encourage independent security researchers to reach out to us and share what they've found so that we can fix potential vulnerabilities before it becomes an issue for our consumers." He said that the goal is to encourage good hackers to find vulnerabilities in the security before malicious bad hackers find them.
Check out how CBC describes the difference between “black-hat hackers” and “white-hat hackers”:
Who doesn’t love a white-hat hacker who can help us? These mavericks are hackers with a cause, or rebels who just want to do good. It’s a bonus for consumers to have white-hat hackers around, since hacking isn't really taught by institutions. It's just what some super-intelligent tech people have taught themselves to do.
Not only has FCA initiated this white hacking program to discover automotive vulnerabilities, it will also share whatever they or Bugcrowd participants find. Car owners everywhere can breathe a collective sigh of relief.