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IoT
9/21/2016
09:15 AM
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Chinese Researchers Hack Tesla S Models, Expose Bugs

Automaker fixes security risks after Tencent Holdings uncover vulnerabilities in both parking and drive mode.

Security bugs identified in Tesla S models have been fixed by the company using over-the-air updates within days of the discovery, reports Reuters. The vulnerabilities were uncovered by Chinese security researchers at Tencent Holdings Ltd's Keen Security Lab, who wrote about it on their blog, including a video demo.

Tencent researchers, says Reuters, hacked the onboard computer of a Tesla S and took remote control of the vehicle; believed to be the first to do so. They then demonstrated engaging the brake on the moving vehicle and operating its trunk and windshield wipers.

The researchers said the vehicle could be manipulated in both park and drive mode.

Tesla responded fast, but claimed the vulnerabilities could be exploited only under certain conditions.

Read details at Reuters.

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BrianE919
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BrianE919,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/21/2016 | 12:36:46 PM
Remote control?
Addressing remote control attacks is going to be challenging in general, as devices lack the analytics capabilities servers have to, possibly, detect abnormal requests and refuse to execute them without confirmation.

That said, Tesla's remote breach appears to demonstrate a lack of internal validation -- it was possible, for example, to open the trunk while the car was in motion, which is something you'd expect code to prevent.

If you allow remote control, a logical question to ask is, "what happens when a hacker gains remote access?"  It's probably unreasonably optimistic to assume a remote attack isn't possible; it's also probably unappealing to mitigate this possibility by requiring confirmation -- especially that which requires physical interaction with the device -- whenever remote control is requested.  Security and usability are opposites...
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