Motoring / Cars and Bikes

Are Tesla Vehicles Hackproof? Not Quite According to This 19-Year-old

A security researcher managed to gain control of a number of Tesla vehicles remotely.

Jan 17, 2022 | By Joseph Low

A dozen Tesla vehicles were reportedly hacked by a 19-year-old security researcher.

The hacker, David Colombo, said he was able to take control of some important features such as unlocking doors, opening windows and starting the car — someone still needs to be present to do the driving.

According to an article by Bloomberg Colombo, the self-professed hacker, was successful because he was able to make use of the vulnerability in a third-party app. The problem isn’t with the software that Tesla is using but the information and data that were shared to the third-party app that made it possible.

Another pertinent point that came with the hack is the ease of obtaining sensitive information through the third-party app. Colombo had information such as the name of the owner, the precise location of the Tesla car, and the most recent routes the driver took in the last few days.

“I was able to see where this guy was driving around,” Colombo said in an interview with Vice. “I was like, yes, sorry, what the hell I shouldn’t be able to see that.”

The entire process and happenings were posted on Colombo’s personal Twitter account and had since garnered attention from many people online. Tesla, however, has not put out an official statement in regards to this incident. This is also not the first time Tesla vehicles were hacked, the most recent happened in 2015. The company even invited hackers to help with fine-tuning its security system.

More needs to be done and regular reviews of the security system have to be conducted to ensure that the safety of car owners is not compromised. Third-party collaborators will also need to be reviewed more stringently to prevent any potential leak of sensitive data.

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