So remember all those Jeep’s recently stolen in the Houston area and then driven across the border to Mexico? Well, now we know for sure it had nothing to do with remote hacking. It turns out the theft ring used Fiat Chrysler’s own DealerConnect software to commit the crimes.
The internal dealer software has VIN numbers and other secure information like key fob and radio codes. Hackers, using a laptop and an OBD-II plug, used the info to essentially reprogram vehicle security systems and then drive away with the vehicle.
Fiat Chrysler isn’t saying whether the suspects accessed the internal system on their own or with inside help. But as you might imagine, FCA is not one bit happy with the situation. According to Automotive News, it’s moving to lock down its security codes and has updated its DealerConnect software with a stern warning of legal action against those who might hand over sensitive information to outsiders.
Houston police recently arrested two suspects in the string of Jeep and Ram thefts in the Houston area. They say the thefts are part of a larger cross-border theft ring that involves more than 100 vehicles. The break in the case came in April when a homeowner showed police surveillance video of his Jeep Wrangler being stolen.