Harman International Industries Inc, the supplier for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s infotainment system and a company that also has contracts with numerous other competitors, said FCA was the only one in peril from hack attacks.
The supplier said that most likely the security flaw that prompted FCA, the third largest US automaker and the world’s seventh biggest, to issue a safety campaign for 1.4 million vehicles last month is common only for the Italian-American company. “We do not believe this problem exists in any other car outside of Fiat Chrysler,” commented Harman Chief Executive Dinesh Paliwal during a recent interview with Reuters. Harman Kardon-branded infotainment products are integrated into Fiat Chrysler’s Internet-connected Uconnect telematics system. Recently, two well known cybersecurity researchers exploited a software vulnerability in Uconnect to remotely gain command of a Jeep Cherokee being driven on a highway – sparking renewed interest in the debate around the safety of today’s increasingly technological and connected cars and trucks.
FCA and Harman have jointly worked on providing a software update for the recalled autos, though the Uconnect system also employs software and network connectivity from other firms. “Our system was safe and secure,” commented, hinting the issue was most likely initiated by a a “hole” or port opening in a network. “Once you leave the door of the house open, somebody will walk in and they can do whatever they want,” he explained. Aside from Fiat Chrysler, Harman also provides infotainment systems to numerous other automakers, including BMW, Daimler or Volvo.