Pwn2Own Tesla Model 3 contest could win hackers a new car

Each year since 2007, the Zero Day Initiative has held a Pwn2Own contest that offers prizes to hackers who can find and exploit issues on popular software and hardware. Prizes usually average about $10,000 per exploit, and the Pwn2 Own contest is one of the best known hacking competitions out there.

This year the contest is adding a new category for automotive hacks. With cars becoming more and more connected and relying on technology more heavily for autonomous features, our rides are becoming juicier targets for hackers. This year in the Automotive sector of the competition, Tesla has provided a Model 3 on-site for hackers to go at.

Tesla has six different focal points for in-scope research. Prizes in the Automotive sector range from $35,000 to $300,000 depending on a variety of factors and the exploit used to gain access to the vehicle. One of the prizes could see hackers driving off in a new Tesla Model 3.

The Automotive category has multiple targets that hackers can try and exploit. Those categories include the modem or tuner with a $100,000 prize and exploiting WiFi or Bluetooth will win $60,000. Infotainment hacks pay well with a basic hack scoring $35,000, a sandbox escape worth $85,000, and root/kernel EoP worth $85,000.

Tesla hackers able to perform a gateway, Autopilot, or VCSEC hack can win $250,000. An autopilot denial of service hack is good for $50,000 while hacking key fobs or using a phone as a key is worth $100,000.