Tesla electric car hacked twice for $US200,000 in cybersecurity competition | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

A group of computer coders won $US200,000 for hacking a Tesla’s cellular modem and infotainment system in a competition designed to highlight vulnerabilities in technology – and pass the information onto their manufacturers.

A team of hackers has won $US200,000 ($AU305,000) for hacking a Tesla’s modem and infotainment system during a competition designed to identify technical weaknesses in automotive electronic products.

The event – part of the Zero Day Initiative run by cybersecurity giant Trend Micro – offers coders financial rewards for discovering and alerting technology companies of software vulnerabilities in their products, before they are exploited for malicious purposes.

The organisers of the three-day event in Japan say “technical details concerning the vulnerability [of the products]” are not made public until the companies have addressed and fixed the relevant issues.

Synacktiv – the team that hacked the Tesla – earned $US100,000 for using a “two-bug chain to attack the Tesla Infotainment System”, and another $US100,000 for a “three-bug chain [used] against the Tesla Modem.”

The group – which won the overall event – earned a total of $US450,000 ($AU684,000) for successfully hacking various other car accessories, including two types of charging stations, a Sony infotainment system, and other electric-car software available on the market.

The event sees teams of hackers attempting to infiltrate targeted items within a specific period, and are awarded monetary prizes as well as so-called ‘Master of Pwn points’.

According to organisers, the event – formally known as ‘Pwn2Own Automotive 2024’ – handed out more than $US1 million in prize money, with the competition claiming to have identified a total of 49 newly discovered technical vulnerabilities within products targeted.

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Ethan Cardinal

Ethan Cardinal graduated with a Journalism degree in 2020 from La Trobe University and has been working in the fashion industry as a freelance writer prior to joining Drive in 2023. Ethan greatly enjoys investigating and reporting on the cross sections between automotive, lifestyle and culture. Ethan relishes the opportunity to explore how deep cars are intertwined within different industries and how they could affect both casual readers and car enthusiasts.

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