Many hackers and security experts have showed over the past few months that Tesla Motors Inc NASDAQ:TSLA’s all-electric Model S sedan was vulnerable to hacking. Last month at the SyScan Conference in Beijing, hackers were able to circumvent the security protocols and remotely operate the horn, door locks and sunroof. These findings and hacks help Tesla identify loopholes and bolster security of its iconic sedan. But what if an ill-minded hacker manages to a customer’s Model S? It poses a serious threat.
Tesla wanted to hire 20-30 hackers at the Def Con in Las Vegas
Tesla doesn’t want that to happen again. That’s why Tesla last week sent its security expert Kristin Paget to the Def Con annual security conference in Las Vegas. Paget left Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL to join Tesla in February this year. She attended the event courting hackers who can find loopholes in Tesla car’s software. Paget told The Wall Street Journal that the San Francisco-based company was planning to hire 20-30 hackers from the Def Con event alone.
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What’s more, hackers who report loopholes to the electric vehicle maker get a platinum-colored “challenge coin.” Security has become a major concern among automakers as they connect more cars to the Internet. Last week, two security experts showed that cars from Chrysler Group and Nissan Motors are the most hackable vehicles.
Tesla has fixed many security flaws in its vehicles
Experts said that Chrysler’s 2014 Jeep Cherokee has Bluetooth and WiFi communication systems on the same network as the automatic parallel parking programs and brakes. Therefore, hackers could easily infiltrate such a car’s communication system to gain control over its physical maneuvers. Last month, a security expert at Chinese firm Qihoo 360 Technology also identified software flaws in the Model S.
Paget, popularly known as the “hacker princess,” said that the company has fixed many security flaws in its vehicle. Tesla cars have wireless Internet connection, so the company sends over-the-air security updates.