Tesla Motors

Chinese Firm Claims To Hack Tesla Model S To Win Security Contest – chicagotribune.com

A mainland China security firm, Qihoo 360 Technology Co., claims it has found a way to hack into systems that control Tesla’s Model S sedan, controlling features like the door locks, car horn and sunroof even while the vehicle was being operated, according to a report by Bloomberg News. The hack was in response to a contest associated with the SysCan security conference in Beijing. As reported by The Security Ledger, that contest offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could hack the Model S. Bloomberg reporter Ma Jie cited this post on the company’s Sina Weibo account as proof of the compromise. Tranlated (via Google), the post reads: “Our safety performance Tesla recently conducted a series of tests and found that the certificate can be used to unlock the remote control of the vehicle, whistle, flash and so on. And can open the sunroof while driving the vehicle. Tesla owners […]

$10,000 Is On Offer For Anyone Who Can Hack A Tesla Car – Forbes

Thomas Brewster over at Forbes has an interesting story this week on a $10,000 bounty that’s being offered for anyone who can hack Tesla’s Model S sedan. The contest is open to all registered attendees of SyScan Conference in Beijing, which takes place later in July. (Conference web site is here.) According to Brewster, the contest is not endorsed by Tesla, nor is the company cooperating in any way. The conference features a number of hacking demonstrations, including at least one on hacking cars: this presentation on strategies for securing Controller Area Network (CAN) based systems – CAN is the most commonly used networking protocol in automobiles. Tesla – which makes the most wired cars on the road – have flirted with both hackers and mod-ers in the past. Notably: this article mentions one car owner’s hack of Tesla’s (really nice) on board touch screen interface. That prompted a warning from […]

Web to Wheels: Tesla Password Insecurity Exposes Cars, Drivers

We’ve interviewed security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani before. In the last year, he’s done some eye-opening investigations into consumer products like the Philips HUE smart lightbulbs. We did a podcast with Nitesh in December where we talked more generally about security and the Internet of Things. Now Dhanjani is in the news again with research on one of the most high-profile connected devices in the world: Tesla’s super-smart electric cars. In a presentation at Black Hat Asia on Friday, he  released findings of some research on the Tesla Model S that suggests the cars have a weakness common to many Web based applications: a weak authentication scheme. (A PDF version of the report is here.) Specifically: Tesla’s sophisticated cars rely on a decidedly unsophisticated security scheme: a six-character PIN. Dhanjani’s research discovered a variety of potentially exploitable holes that would give even an unsophisticated attacker a good chance at breaking into […]

connected vehicles

Senator Asks Automakers About Cyber Security, Privacy Plans

Cyber attacks on so-called “connected vehicles” are still in the proof of concept stage. But those proofs of concept are close enough to the real thing to prompt an inquiry from U.S. Senator Ed Markey, who sent a letter to 20 major auto manufacturers asking for information about consumer privacy protections and safeguards against cyber attacks in their vehicles. Markey’s letter, dated December 2, cites recent reports of “commands…sent through a car’s computer system that could cause it to suddenly accelerate, turn or kill the breaks,” and references research conducted by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek on Toyota Prius and Ford Escape. That research was presented in an August demonstration at the DEFCON hacking conference in Las Vegas. [For more on the security threats facing connected vehicles, check out this link.] “Today’s cars and light trucks contain more than 50 separate electronic control units (ECUs), connected through a controller area network […]

Google Autonomous Vehicle

When Autonomous Vehicles Crash, Is The Software Liable?

Many industries are wrestling with the blinding speed of technologic change. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are transforming the way employees work and customers interact with a business. And that doesn’t even take into account the (coming) revolution of smart devices and remote sensors that is referred to as The Internet of Things. But few industries are wrestling as hard with the implications of that change as the Insurance industry, which must assess the long-term impact of huge forces like technology innovation or, say, climate change on risk. One example: how will the advent of autonomous vehicles or even computer augmented driving change the auto insurance business? And, when two computer-guided cars crash, who (or what) is liable? Those were some of the questions posed to attendees at this week’s Emerging Technology (or EmTech) Conference at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The speaker, Joe Coray, is the Vice […]