Hackers Won a Tesla After Successfully Breaking a Tesla
Kind of the opposite of "you break it, you buy it"
Tesla has become, for many drivers, the face of electric vehicles in the United States. This comes with ups and downs — on one hand, a wide-ranging charging network; on the other, a series of bizarre glitches that periodically come to light. All of which makes it understandable that Tesla would have a hand in seeing just what can be done with its vehicles’ systems with an eye towards improving them.
As Gizmodo reports, the automaker made its technology available to a group of cybersecurity experts and hackers as part of Zero Day Initiative’s Pwn2Own Vancouver. Zero Day Initiative has a mission of financially rewarding those people who discover software vulnerabilities — hence the “own” part of the event’s name — and one security group left the event with a Tesla Model 3 and a sizable cash bonus for their work.
A team from Synacktiv discovered two different security vulnerabilities in Tesla’s systems. As Gizmodo reveals, one involved hacking the infotainment system; the other found a security issue in the ways that Tesla’s vehicles communicate with Tesla’s Powerwall.
In a Tweet, Synacktiv provided more information on one of the hacks. “After having finished their exploit in an hotel room, @p0ly and @vdehors successfully compromised the Tesla Model 3 infotainment through bluetooth and elevated their privileges to root!” the company wrote. “Combined with the previous entry, this could have been a full chain to take over the car!”
All told, Synacktiv’s team earned them a Model 3 and $350,000. They get money and a car, and Tesla has a severe security issue identified — seems like a win for all involved.
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