Researchers Hack A Model S, Tesla Sends Out Over-The-Air Fix

Researchers Hack A Model S, Tesla Sends Out Over-The-Air Fix

Two researchers said they were able to take control of a Tesla Model S by hacking into the car’s entertainment system.

When the car was cruising at less than five miles per hour or idling, the researchers were able to apply the emergency hand brake, bringing the car to an immediate stop.

At speeds higher than that, the Model S “gracefully” shut off its engine, allowing the driver to maintain control over steering and braking, according to a blog post written by one of the researchers, Kevin Mahaffey, who is co-founder and chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm Lookout.

The pair was also able to remotely lock and unlock the car, control the radio and touch screen displays and open and close the trunk.

A Tesla spokeswoman said the company has developed a fix, which was already sent out to all Model S cars through an over-the-air software update. These updates can be downloaded by the driver via Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

Mahaffey and Marc Rogers, principal security researcher at web security company CloudFlare, hacked the vehicle over the course of a year.

They said they found six vulnerabilities in the car’s security system but emphasized that it was after having physical access to the Model S. The researchers said they took control of the car’s entertainment system after connecting their laptop to the car’s Ethernet cable. Then, they were able to access the systems remotely.

In the blog post, Mahaffey praised Tesla’s over-the-air update system and its isolation of the car’s entertainment system from the vehicle network.

But he said the automaker needed to bolster individual system security, as the researchers took full control over the car’s entertainment system by breaching each system individually and using that access to get into another system.

“Overall, I feel more secure driving in a Tesla Model S than any other connected car on the road,” Mahaffey wrote.

Rogers and Mahaffey will present their full research at this week’s Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas.

News of the Tesla hack comes just weeks after a report that cybersecurity researchers were able to take remote control of a Jeep Cherokee, leading Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to recall 1.4 million vehicles.

About Alexis Sostre

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

Check Also

The anti-Facebook: Snapchat IPO will be the largest in years

The anti-Facebook: Snapchat IPO will be the largest in years

WHEN Snapchat first became popular in 2013, many thought the messaging app would disappear almost as quickly as its vanishing messages. Instead, it has become one of the most intriguing internet firms to emerge in years. When Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, goes public at an expected valuation of $20bn-25bn—the IPO is expected in March—its market debut will be the most closely watched since Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, floated in 2014. Snap’s offering documents may be filed publicly as soon as this week.