Fiat Chrysler issues software update after hackers hijack Jeep Cherokee

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Wednesday released a software update for thousands of its vehicles after two professional hackers took command of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee while it was driving.

The hacking incident was reported in Wired magazine on Monday and included video evidence of hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek compromising the functions of a Cherokee driven by Wired journalist Andy Greenberg.

Working with laptops from their homes, the hackers blasted the Cherokee’s radio, turned on the wipers and washer fluid and eventually shut off the Cherokee’s engine while it was driving on a St. Louis highway, according to Automotive News.

Later, in a parking lot, the hackers demonstrated how they could take control of the Cherokee’s steering wheel while the transmission was in reverse and even disabled the brakes, Automotive News said.

Fiat Chrysler said the software updates will be available for free to the UConnect systems in 2013-14 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles, and some models of the 2015 Chrysler 200.

Although the company did not directly acknowledge the hacking event, it said in a statement that “vehicle software can require updates for improved security protection to reduce the potential risk of unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems.”

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