FCA car thieves used DealerConnect system to steal over 100 vehicles; it includes Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge pickup trucks
Facing charges of hacking and stealing over 100 vehicles using pirated software, two thieves were arrested in the US by the Houston Police Department earlier this month. FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) said the stealers mysteriously obtained access to the software that is exclusively available for service shops, dealers, and locksmiths. By simply entering the vehicle’s VIN number, the software allows authorised user to reprogram the computer for accepting a new key fob.
The Houston Police Department confirmed that the thieves targeted FCA models and most of them were primarily being Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee and Dodge pickup trucks from the Houston province. The planned stealers transported the looted vehicles across Mexican border in midnight. As it was not the first time FCA had been targeted by hackers, the Italian-American company cooperated with the Houston Police Department for preventing further thefts.
Also Read: Jeep Wrangler Hacker Thieves Caught
In 2015, FCA enforced a recall of 1.4 million vehicles for fixing the security vulnerable Uconnect infotainment system. Sticking by early news, FCA reportedly now admitted that the thieves used DealerConnect system to pilfer its vehicles from Houston area owners. The shocking surveillance video of two thieves showed how with the help of a laptop a Jeep Wrangler can be stolen in a matter of minutes.
A FCA spokesperson told the Houston Chronicle that a thief used a system to break into the vehicle and entered its VIN to access database. One report said FCA revised the DealerConnect disclaimer against anyone providing unauthorised individuals with key codes to threaten civil or criminal proceedings.
The investigators involved in the probe feel the two criminals charged with stealing over 100 vehicles in Houston could have been helped by other thieves. FCA has not yet revealed any details about how thieves accessed the DealerConnect system or that what preventions have been made to restrict such activities in the future.