Tesla cars can be easily called the automobile of the future. The developers repeatedly insinuate that these vehicles are completely hack proof but recent news of a major hacking flaw is cause enough for alarm. The fact that these cars have autopilot makes them even more dangerous if hacked. If we are suspecting that our overall safety is in question even when taking a short drive to the market, then we might be looking at future life-threatening incidents to come. We are born into the online age which is dominated by cyber-crimes and we need to be ever-vigil to future attacks from all known threats. Go figure that a Chinese security firm dared the developers of Tesla, who then hacked the Tesla Model S in a shocking display of hacking drama. In the beginning, it was not to hard to hack into a Tesla model, as long as the hacker had initial contact with the car. The hacker simply needed to have access to the Nvidia-Tegra powered infotainment system. The Chinese security firm went a notch higher and was successfully able to hack the car from a distance of 12 miles after that… The model had the latest firmware, but they were still able to remotely control several functions of the car. This included the dashboard computer, brakes, door locks and side mirrors which were vulnerable to open control by a 3rd party. The firm known as Keen Security Lab used a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot and a web browser to execute the hack.
Relax- it’s not what you think!
The Tesla Model S hack was disclosed immediately to Tesla, and they made a software update that fixed the problem. Tesla offers a policy that pays outsiders to find bugs in their security systems in order to better their security management. Approximately 135 bugs have been discovered so far. The hackers who were behind this are known in the industry as ‘Ethical Hackers’, and search for the weakness(s) found in software that involves online security. A hacker with a criminal motive needs only one hole that can be exploited for malicious intent to be carried-out. Although Tesla continues updating their software, online hackers continue learning and perfecting their skills in order to find a potential weakness in whatever they desire to wreak havoc. This is one reason why self driving cars are more of a security threat to those who trust technology to artificial intelligence. A driver of Tesla model earlier this year crashed when the vehicle slammed into a truck. The driver was using Autopilot and had praised it vehemently. It later turned-out that the accident was not due to the Tesla car, but an error in the driver who wasn’t using the autopilot mode correctly. This shows that we cannot fully rely on this technology just yet, at least not 100% when it comes to so many bad drivers on the road. We cannot stop the technology age which is emerging faster than we can comprehend, but we can be more careful -especially if our life is on the line.