Group Hacks A Tesla EV: Why It Gets A Free Tesla Model 3 Instead Of Jail Time

Zinger Key Points
  • The rise of connected vehicles may make them more at risk for software hacking concerns.
  • A hacking competition features major companies offering prizes for anyone who can find security flaws in software.

Cybersecurity and hacking is a major concern for companies, especially those in the technology sector or with software that could be impacted.

Hackers were able to hack into an electric vehicle from Tesla Inc TSLA, and instead of punishment, they got a prize.

What Happened: With companies knowing hackers can target them and find exploits in software and code, many have turned to offering rewards for those who find problems and bring attention to the company. The U.S. State Department is among the entities that offer rewards to people who identify security threats that can be targeted by hackers.

One of the largest hacking events in the world, Pwn2Own, featured groups competing to find security flaws and exploits in companies' software.

A group successfully hacked into the software of a Tesla Model 3 using a time-of-check time-of-use (TOCTOU) exploit to gain access of the vehicle, as reported by Teslarati. Not all details of the hack were shared publicly due to security concerns.

Synacktiv, a French security company, was the group that completed the successful hack.

Their prize for hacking a Tesla vehicle? The group took home $100,000 and a Tesla Model 3 vehicle.

Related Link: Coinbase Pays Out $250K Bounty To Ethical Hacker Who Prevented Nuking Of Entire Crypto Market

Why It’s Important: Pwn2Own is one of the biggest hacking events in the world and involves some of the biggest and most recognizable companies.

Tesla is not new to the event and has often featured its vehicles at the hacking competition with the goal of finding any security flaws that could exploit its software.

Other products that have been featured at Pwn2Own have included internet browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Firefox and software like Office 365 Plus and Adobe Reader.

Tesla launched its own bug bounty in 2014 offering incentives to hackers who find flaws in its vehicles.

In 2022, it was highlighted that Tesla vehicles were at risk of being stolen by hackers using near-field communication key cards.

The use of Bluetooth technology for Tesla vehicles instead of keys was also noted as a potential security flaw that could allow vehicles to be stolen.

With the rise of automobiles being connected and having more software inside, the risk of security concerns could also rise. Tesla’s approach to offering incentives for finding security flaws may keep them at lower risk down the road of being exploited by hackers.

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