Tesla’s cars are well known for their technical prowess, integration of machine-learning, and internet-connected features. These are behind some of Tesla’s most impressive feats, like its Autopilot system. Unfortunately, they’re also vectors for attack in a world where cyber-security is becoming more and more important.
Tesla has updated its cars’ operating system today, after security researchers proved that they could access and control Tesla cars remotely. By apparently injecting commands in the car’s system while it is searching for charging stations, Chinese security researchers working for Keen Security Lab were able to take control of a brand new Tesla.
The researchers posted their exploits in the video above, where they show how a remote attacker can wirelessly activate or deactivate some of the car’s systems. The hacker could start the windshield wipers, open doors or the trunk, and even stop the car while it was being driven. The alarming aspect is that the researchers did not need direct physical access to the car nor did they have to perform any hardware changes for their attacks to work.
The good news here is that these were white hat researchers, who contacted and worked with Tesla to fix the security flaws before they made them public. Tesla, for its part, has released an update for its cars, so all customers should keep hop on to the latest available software version.