According to a report from the financial Times, cybersecurity researchers have claimed they took over a Tesla Motors Model S luxury electric sedan and managed to stop it at low speed.
All in all, the “white hat” hackers managed to find no less than six major issues with security that could render the car vulnerable to malevolent persons trying to seize control of the auto. Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm Lookout, and Marc Rogers, principal security researcher at Cloudflare, said they focused on a Tesla car because the company – located in the Silicon Valley area, has a reputation for treating software more like a technology firm than regular automakers, read the Financial Times report. “We shut the car down when it was driving initially at a low speed of five miles per hour,” commented Rogers for the newspaper. “All the screens go black, the music turns off and the handbrake comes on, lurching it to a stop.” The Financial Times added the new hack would be detailed more closely at cybersecurity conference Def Con in Las Vegas on Friday.
The Tesla hacking comes amid serious questions regarding cybersecurity and automotive vulnerability, as the vehicles today are increasingly high-tech and rely more and more on wireless connection for certain features. Last month a similar attack on a vehicle produced by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles compelled the automaker to issue a safety recall campaign in the United States, covering 1.4 million autos. Another cybersecurity expert also said GM’s OnStar smartphone application was vulnerable and could allow hackers to seize control of the owner’s car.