The Key to Stealing a Tesla Model SThe Key to Stealing a Tesla Model S
A team of hackers finds it's possible to steal a Tesla Model S by cloning the key fob.
September 12, 2018
The key to stealing a Tesla Model S is cloning the car's existing key fob, according to a team of security researchers at the KU Leuven university in Belgium.
At the Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems conference held this week in Amsterdam, the team will present a paper detailing the process of breaking encryption in the wireless key fobs of the Tesla Model S. It took about $600 in equipment to read signals from the fob of a nearby key, and less than two seconds of computation to learn the cryptographic key, which can be used to drive the car.
"We can completely impersonate the key fob and open and drive the vehicle," says KU Leuven researcher Lennert Wouters in a statement to Wired, which reported on the research. Over nine months, the team learned the Model S keyless system used weak 40-bit cipher encryption for its key fob codes. With those codes, they could try every possible cryptographic key until they found the right one.
Tesla issued an upgraded key fob in response to the findings and says Model S cars sold after June 2018 aren't vulnerable to this type of attack. It also recently gave drivers the option to set a PIN code to be entered on the dashboard before the car can be driven. However, if the PIN code is not enabled or the key fob isn't upgraded with stronger encryption, cars are vulnerable.
The research team believes this type of attack might work on McLaren and Karma cars, as well as Triumph motorcycles, all of which use the Pektron key fob system. However, they were not able to
gain access to those vehicles for testing. McLaren reports it's investigating the problem and, in the meantime, is offering drivers protective key pouches to protect from radio scans.
Read more details here.
Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018 with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
Hacking Your Digital Identity: How Cybercriminals Can and Will Get Around Your Authentication MethodsOct 26, 2023
Modern Supply Chain Security: Integrated, Interconnected, and Context-DrivenNov 06, 2023
How to Combat the Latest Cloud Security ThreatsNov 06, 2023
Reducing Cyber Risk in Enterprise Email Systems: It's Not Just Spam and PhishingNov 01, 2023
SecOps & DevSecOps in the CloudNov 06, 2023
9 Traits You Need to Succeed as a Cybersecurity Leader
The Ultimate Guide to the CISSP
Quantifying the Gap Between Perceived Security and Comprehensive MITRE ATT&CK Coverage
The Evolving Ransomware Threat: What Business Leaders Should Know About Data Leakage
Managed Security and the 3rd Party Cyber Risk Opportunity Whitepaper