Fiat Chrysler offers bug bounty

The automaker will pay up to US$1,500 to ethical hackers who find potential security flaws in its vehicles.

MICHIGAN (Reuters) - Find the technology flaw, and Fiat Chrysler will pay you. The automaker is teaming up with bug bounty operator Bugcrowd. It'll reward ethical hackers as much as US$1,500 (S$2,020) for identifying data security flaws in its vehicles.

The move comes a year after researchers showed they could turn off a Jeep Cherokee's engine using a wireless connection. The company wound up recalling nearly one-and-a-half million vehicles to fix the flaw. Researchers had also managed to turn off a Tesla Model S, forcing the electric car maker to send a software patch to owners.

In the connected age, automakers are concerned that cyber intruders could try to steal data through the vehicle's electronic system or remotely disable cars and demand ransom.

Morningstar senior analyst Richard Hilgert said: "There'll be a lot of interconnectivity. The more these companies can involve more individuals scrutinising how well the security has been implemented, the better the security is going to be."

General Motors has hackers volunteer information, but it doesn't offer cash.