Fiat Chrysler has been at the center of some embarrassing, highly-publicized hacks lately. The most famous was when CNET showed how two hackers were able to put a Jeep traveling down a road into a ditch. To help fix its image, the automaker is now interested in paying hackers for their help.
This isn’t the first time an automaker has offered to work with hackers. Tesla has a standing offer of $100 up to $10,000 for uncovering a security flaw in its cars. It’s a smart move, because hackers would then have a reason to come forward with information that could save lives.
There’s just one big flaw in Fiat Chrysler’s plan: they’re acting like a bunch of cheapskates. The company says it’ll pay hackers $150 to $1,500 for information on security problems. Some might take that as a joke, or worse an insult. It’s a far cry from Tesla’s generous offer, at least for really advanced or critical hacks.
My prediction is more automakers will see the benefit of working with hackers on uncovering connectivity security flaws and resolving them quickly. I also predict they’ll learn from FCA’s example to not pay smaller amounts for valuable hacking info. According to Automotive News, Tesla has had great success with its program, paying out for 132 uncovered security holes that could’ve turned into big fiascos.