Hackers Successfully Remote Attack a Tesla Model S

A group of Chinese hackers has posted a video that supposedly demonstrates the impact of their remote attack vector on Tesla Motors.

The group from Keen Security Lab of Tencent carried out two experimental car hacking demonstrations based on what they described as several months of in-depth research on Tesla cars.

The team claimed to have developed a contactless remote control for Tesla cars which was used in one of the experiments to open a Tesla S P85 car’s sunroof, turn on its steering lamp and move its seat all from a distance afar. They claimed to have managed to control several models of Tesla cars in the market.

In the second experiment, the Tesla S 75D system’s screen was completely taken over by the hackers such that the driver was not able to control the car on his own. They were able to open the car’s door through a control on a laptop, swing its windscreen wipers in a driving mode and fold rearview mirror while changing lane.

They also opened the car’s trunk while in motion and manipulated the break system by making the car stop at 12 miles away through a colleague who did it remotely from their office.

This is a concern concerning that in the next few years, a large number of connected cars would be on the road.

According to the manufacturer, the Model S is designed from the ground up to be the safest, most exhilarating sedan on the road with autopilot capabilities designed to make your highway driving not only safer, but stress free.

After these discovered multiple security vulnerabilities in the Tesla Model S in both parking and driving mode, the researchers followed the global industry practice on “responsible disclosure” to report the technical details of all the vulnerabilities discovered in the research to Tesla.

They say the vulnerabilities have been confirmed by the Tesla Product Security Team and actions are being taken to fix them. They stated:

As far as we know, this is the first case of remote attack which compromises CAN Bus to achieve remote controls on Tesla cars. We have verified the attack vector on multiple varieties of Tesla Model S. It is reasonable to assume that other Tesla models are affected.

Featured image from iStock/ typhoonski.