Hackers Were Able To Take Control Of A Tesla Model S Electric Car

The folks at Tesla including visionary CEO Elon Musk were probably upset to discover that their Model S, A $70K luxury electric car was hacked today.


The hacked Tesla  had the hand brake applied which brought the car to a complete stop. Basically our cars are becoming so computerized they are like an old PC that you loaded too much porn onto.


The other week hackers demonstrated that they were able to remotely hack into a Jeep Cherokee through a cellular internet connection to its entertainment system. They were able to take over the SUV’s controls including the radio, windshield wipers engine and steering, leaving the driver stranded in the middle of the highway

Luckily however both of these incidents were not perpetrated by nefarious hackers looking to cause serious harm to motorist. Both the Cherokee stunt and today’s Tesla hack were done by what is known as “white hat hackers.” These are cyber security researchers who try to infiltrate and learn about a computer systems flaws. Thus Kevin Mahaffey a chief technology officer at Lookout and Mark Rogers a security researcher at Cloudflare purposely tried to hack a Tesla Model S because of that company’s reputation for having an understanding of software. To make that point clear Tesla will be wirelessly updating their cars this week with fixes to prevent these types of hacks. A spokesperson for the company said;

“Our over-the-air software updates remotely add new features and functionality to Model S. Similarly to how you receive updates to your smartphone, Model S owners download these updates from Tesla via Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. A button will pop up on Model S’s 17-inch touchscreen and an owner can select a time to download the latest version of software. The ability to receive these features and fixes is free for the life of the vehicle and is one more way that Tesla is redefining auto-ownership.”


So before you worry about your Tesla getting hacked it should also be noted that the researchers had to physically open up the car and attach their computers to its Ethernet port.

In addition the car went into sort of a safety mode where the car would shut down and coast, allowing the driver to pull over before any real damage could be done. However, let us hope that other car manufactures figure out a way to prevent more malicious types of remote hacking. For now here is this Tesla charger plugging itself in, because if you own a $70K electric car, no way you should have to put it in with your hands.


Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney

Source: LA Times