Latest in Hacks

Image credit:

Tesla's Model S hack still proves it's better than other car makers

38 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

In the run up to this year's DEF CON, major car hacks seem to be a recurring theme. A few weeks ago we saw how hackers were able to remotely take control and shut down Chrysler vehicles -- now Tesla's Model S is the latest target. Researchers have figured out a way to digitally "hot wire" a Model S, Wired reports. They can also plant a Trojan that allows them to remotely control the car, including shutting it down. It's a sign that even the most technologically advanced car in the world will never be fully safe from security vulnerabilities. But while Chrysler had to issue a "voluntary safety recall" (in the form of a software update on a USB stick) for 1.4 million affected vehicles, Tesla has already sent out a fix to all Model S owners with an over-the-air update. Look at it this way: In one day every Model S owner is protected against these hacks, whereas it'll take much longer for the majority of Chrysler owners to get their patch (and there's a good chance it'll never reach them all).

It's also not as if these hacks were easy to pull off. They require getting physical access to a Model S, which means potential attackers would have to deal with the car's security system first. The researchers, Lookout Security CTO Kevin Mahaffey and Cloudflare head security researcher Marc Rogers, used a network cable behind the Model S' dashboard to plug in a laptop and get access to the car's infotainment system. They then spent two years digging into the car's architecture, ultimately digging up six vulnerabilities that they helped Tesla resolve. They'll be discussing their findings at DEF CON this week.

The researchers also point to a few other elements of Tesla's architecture that makes it more secure than other car firms: It keeps the infotainment and drive systems completely separate (which wasn't the case for Chrysler's vehicles), and it also developed a graceful way for its cars to stop when they lose power. While there are still potential issues with Tesla's technology -- the researchers aren't clear how safe the car's drive system is from remote hacks -- this hack shows it's still got a leg up on the competition when it comes to security.

Source: Wired
In this article: hacks, ModelS, Tesla
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
38 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Lenovo ThinkPad refresh offers 10th-gen Intel CPUs and AMD's Ryzen 4000 Pro

Lenovo ThinkPad refresh offers 10th-gen Intel CPUs and AMD's Ryzen 4000 Pro

View
Ultimate Ears' Hyperboom speaker is a portable party powerhouse

Ultimate Ears' Hyperboom speaker is a portable party powerhouse

View
What's on TV this week: 'Knives Out' and 'Altered Carbon'

What's on TV this week: 'Knives Out' and 'Altered Carbon'

View
HTC opens pre-orders for its $899 Vive Cosmos Elite VR headset

HTC opens pre-orders for its $899 Vive Cosmos Elite VR headset

View
TurboTax maker Intuit buys Credit Karma to corner personal financial data

TurboTax maker Intuit buys Credit Karma to corner personal financial data

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr