Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S sedan is a technological marvel. However, all the technology is hidden from the owners who enjoy the wonderful driving experience. But some Tesla Model S owners have revealed that the small 4-pin connector on the left side of the dashboard is a stealth Ethernet port. Those who know hacking can get all the car’s secrets. A Tesla enthusiast said in a thread on Tesla Motors Club that the in-car network traffic can be seen through the Ethernet port.
Tesla Model S runs on a modified version of Ubuntu
According to Geek, the port is an HSD 4 pole M12, which has pins compatible with a standard Ethernet cable. Some Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S owners used it to see various traffic types exchanged in Tesla’s systems. The Model S internal network has three devices: center console (192.168.0.100), the navigation screen (192.168.0.101) and a mysterious gateway device that nobody has pinned down yet (192.168.0.102).
There are many open ports that carry out various functions. For example, there is port 6000 for X11 services and port 80 for downloading navigation/media data. Users were able to run Firefox on the center console using X11 application forwarding. According to The Register, Model S runs on a highly modified version of Ubuntu and an old version of the mini-httpd Web server.
Tesla may bring third-party apps on the car
This kind of access may lead to jailbreaking the car. Hackers can modify the system and load it with third-party apps. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) can send out over-the-air updates to make changes in the car’s functioning. For instance, the electric vehicle maker raised the suspension clearance at the highway speeds to reduce the chances of underside damage after three of its vehicles mysteriously caught fire.
Experts say that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will work to prevent owners from making unauthorized changes to their Model S sedan for safety reasons. However, the company has talked about the possibility of running third-party apps on the car.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares plunged 2.60% to $206.72 at 1:07 PM EDT.