Hackers have a very lucrative opportunity next week. Anybody who can hack Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S can win a $10,000 prize. Security experts from across the globe will be competing to hack the Model S sedan next week at the SyScan Conference in Beijing. The computer security event is scheduled for July 16-17.
Will security experts succeed in hacking Tesla?
Conference organizers told Thomas Brewster of Forbes that there will be a Tesla car and some computers on site. Hackers will have to do it right there, in front of the attendees. It’s probably the first ever open competition to hack a car. But it’s no ordinary car. It’s Model S, designed by visionary Elon Musk and his whiz-kid engineers.
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Hacking could be of any form in the Tesla vehicle. Hackers may take control of the car from a remote computer or make the car’s in-dash browser visit a specific website. In the past, a security expert cracked the car’s software, taking control of its in-dash web browser. After that instance, Tesla contacted the individual and warned that the car’s warranty would be void if any changes are made.
Tesla is not involved in the competition
Notably, the San Francisco-based EV maker said it is not involved in the competition in any capacity. However, the company will definitely get something to learn if experts succeed in hacking the car. Tesla already has a solid reputation when it comes to security. The company’s vulnerability disclosure program makes it easy for users and hackers to report any flaws in Model S. The company has also brought in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s security expert Kristin Paget to improve the security of its cars.
With the rise of Internet of Things, where cars will be Internet-connected and software reliant, there is the risk of digital attacks causing some serious real-world damage. Last year, DARPA-funded researchers successfully took control of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) cars.
Tesla shares fell 0.79% to $221.37 at 12:16 PM EDT on Thursday.