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  •  paul
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2014-07-21T12:58:43Z
It looks like Tesla has a few security vulnerabilities to address. That much became evident after Chinese hackers participating in a hacking competition at the annual Syscan conference in Beijing took advantage of a vulnerability in a Tesla Model S electric car that allowed them to honk the horn, unlock the doors, and flash the headlights, all while it was being driven.

While Tesla didn't officially support the competition, it welcomed the challenge and promised to fix any "legitimate vulnerability" the hackers might find, The Telegraph reports. Details of the vulnerability haven't been made public, though the functions the hackers took advantage of are the same ones offered through Tesla's smartphone app. Through the app, which connects via Bluetooth, drivers can honk the horn, lock and unlock doors, turn the headlights on and off, open the sunroof, and more.

Tesla Model S Charging

It seems the hackers most likely were able to exploit the app, which would give them access to GPS tracking, air conditioning, and other functions. The most recent version of the app -- v1.2.2 -- was released on June 6. It's been Tesla's hope that if the Chinese hackers discovered a vulnerability, they would share the information with Tesla so that it could address the issue(s) before releasing the information to the public.

So far, there are no hard feelings -- Tesla said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune that even though it didn't sponsor the competition, it supports "the idea of providing an environment in which responsible security researchers can help identify potential vulnerabilities. We hope that the security researchers will act responsibly and in good faith."
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ThomasTaege
2014-07-21T14:09:26Z

Security is huge on electronics, especially a car!

AtomicCow
2014-07-21T14:45:30Z

Any links to where the vulnerability was? I also wonder from how far you'd be able to mess with a car with one of those hacks.

AllenJun
2014-07-21T15:31:35Z

I thought they were giving away money for being able to hack it. I guess I misread an article. Great that they were given this info so they can patch it.

RyanLaberinto
2014-07-21T17:09:59Z

Its scary to see that more things are to be easily controlled just by a phone. So much risk but is it really worth it just to be able to do simple things on your phone when you can just get up and do it yourself?

CoreyNutter
2014-07-21T18:17:03Z

don't forget the Malaysian plane they hacked and crashed...

ThaBusDriv3r
2014-07-21T19:14:25Z

I knew one day someone would be able to hack those Push-To-Start vehicles. It was bound to happen. I like my old-fashioned unlock my door and start my car with a key. Once people are able to hack your vehicles, and it automatically does something dangerous, say run someone over or total itself, is that covered by your insurance?

RockJohnsonRey
2014-07-21T23:24:44Z
NickCastelluzzi
2014-07-22T02:20:32Z

oh god, its watch dogs irl

Inspector
2014-07-22T04:27:43Z

Well as stuff advance, hackers will too and it can become really dangerous. Wonder what they can do with automated cars...

KyrillVerbytskyy
2014-07-22T12:46:14Z
MADSKILLZ412
2014-07-24T18:51:19Z

This is Hilarious. It's like they played watch dogs and wanted to do that in real life... xD