FIAT Chrysler to Pay Hackers Who Find Cybersecurity Flaws

One year after hackers showed they could control a moving Jeep, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has a new solution to get computer whizzes to work more closely with it: pay them.

The Italian-U. S. auto maker is launching a bug bounty program aimed at giving hackers between $150 and $1,500 every time they uncover potential cybersecurity flaws in its vehicles and alert the company. The auto maker has tapped Bugcrowd Inc., a San Francisco company that runs bug bounty programs that compensate hackers willing to work with companies or other organizations to uncover gaps.

Bugcrowd already runs a program for electric-car maker  Tesla Motors Inc. Tesla fell victim to a high-profile security hack last year, when computer-security researchers revealed they had found a way to effectively power down a Tesla Model S by hacking the entertainment system.

Fiat Chrysler and others were caught off guard earlier last summer when two researchers demonstrated they could take control of a moving Jeep Cherokee from a laptop miles away using the vehicle’s wireless communications system. Fiat Chrysler fixed the security flaw through a vehicle recall and software patch, but the hack raised new questions about the safety of the growing pool of internet-connected cars on the road.

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