Hackers turn off Tesla Model S at low speed: FT

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A report in the Financial Times says cyber security researchers were able to hack into and gain control of a Tesla Model S and shut the vehicle down at a low speed.

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.

“We shut the automotive down when it was driving initially at a low velocity of 5 miles per hour”, the newspaper quoted Rogers as saying. Instead, all of the car’s screens went black and the Model S was dropped to neutral. In other words, if a TeslaModel S owner visited a malicious hacker website, hackers could access the car’s infotainment system.

The automaker said that its security team works carefully with the security research community to make sure that it continues to save its systems against susceptibilities by frequently validating, stress-testing, and upgrading its safeguards. The two researchers are scheduled to reveal the technical details on Friday at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas.

The fact that the reported hacks required one to have a physical connection to the car’s onboard computer should be less alarming compared to the Chrysler Jeep hacking.

“This week, news surfaced that Fiat Chrysler did not inform US regulators of a severe software flaw in Uconnect-equipped vehicles which could allow attackers to remotely control cars”.

Tesla has already issued a patch, the company said, and all Teslaowners will be able to update their cars by today (Thursday, August 6, 2015).

Publicity around that vulnerability quickly led the company to recall 1.4 million vehicles for a fix, under strong pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In July, hackers demonstrated they were able to hack into a Jeep Cherokee and reduce the vehicle’s speed while a person drove it. U.S. legislators have taken an interest in this issue and have proposed regulations that would force manufacturers to better protect vehicles from hackers. “I think every auto in the world should have an over-the-air process if they’re connected to the Internet”. He told us the good news is that companies everywhere – not just Tesla – are becoming more aware of the security risks that come along with increasingly complex, increasingly accessible, in-demand technologies.

Source: http://www.ledgergazette.com/hackers-turn-off-tesla-model-s-at-low-speed-ft/25608/

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