Automakers Offer Bounties to Expose Online Vulnerabilities
Bounties are being offered to computer hackers who expose security vulnerabilities and report them to auto manufacturers. So far, two companies – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Tesla have stepped to the plate and offered rewards to anyone willing to use their hacking talents for good instead of for evil … so to speak.
The automotive world was taken by surprise in 2015 when two hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, figured out a way to take control of some systems in a 2014 Jeep Cherokee by exploiting a cellular weakness. Though the problem was fixed less than a week later, there has been an increased awareness of what a real – and potentially dangerous – issue this could be.
Bounties: How Much?
FCA rolled out their program this week … and are willing to pass out bounties ranging from $150 to $1,500 based on hackers’ information funneled to them via a Website called bugcrowd.com – which is essentially a community of “good” hackers who lend their talents to the fight against the ones who have bad intentions. Meanwhile, Tesla has been paying bounties long enough to have already given out 132 of them – ranging from $100 to $10,000.
Car manufacturers aren’t the only companies who enlist the services of hackers; in fact, many Fortune 500 entities are doing the same thing. Some of the best folks get personal invitations to company headquarters to help address security concerns.
We’re all for anything that can make us safer and less vulnerable!
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