19-year-old hacker claims to have taken control of 25 Tesla cars around the world

A 19-year-old security researcher claims to have remotely tapped into more than 25 Tesla cars in 13 countries, arguing via a Twitter thread that a software vulnerability gave him access to the systems of these electric cars.

As pointed out by the young hacker, the software flaw allows, remotely, to unlock doors and windows, start cars without using keys and disable their security systems. In addition, he claimed that it can see the exact location of a car, check if a driver is present in the car, turn on the vehicles’ sound systems and turn on their headlights.

Serious security vulnerability discovered in Tesla cars

David Colombo, a self-described information technology specialist, did not disclose exact details of the software vulnerability. However, through his tweets he specified that the problem is not within Tesla’s software or infrastructure. He also added that only a small number of car owners of this brand were actually affected.

in conversation with Bloomberg, Colombo pointed out that this problem “it is mainly the fault of the owners (and a third party)”, adding that “This will be described in more detail in my writing, but I’m glad to see Tesla taking action now”.

In its hi the tweets, the young native of Germany clarified that at no time did he achieve absolute remote control of the cars. However, a sudden increase in volume while driving or an untimely play with the lights could lead to a serious accident.

To attack security vulnerabilities, this pioneering American company of electric cars has a protocol. To integrate its vulnerability disclosure platform, security researchers can register their own vehicles for testing, subject to approval by Tesla. For each qualified report, the company pays up to $15,000.

The young hacker commented that he has been in contact with the Tesla security team, who assured him that they were investigating the problem and would contact him again if they had any news. The company, for its part, declined to comment, both from its global press team, as well as from its representation in China.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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