Tencent security lab says Tesla Model S is easily hacked

Along with the promise of hi-tech features like full or semi autonomous driving, modern cars that sport all kinds of sensors, connectivity features, and remote controls have also brought concerns about security and safety. In particularly, cars that can be controlled remotely have become the target of many researchers' hacking attempts. Such was the case with the Tesla Model S and Tencent's Keen Security Lab, revealing how it was possible to manipulate the electric car from a distance, whether it's parked or even while it's moving.

Tencent says that months of research done by its Keen Security Lab uncovered multiple vulnerabilities, all of which can be used together to take over control of a Tesla Mode S. Of course, it doesn't happen by magic and on any random Tesla car. Specifically, based on the video, hackers gain access by targeting a car when the owner is searching for the nearest recharging station, implying that it must be making an active communication with Internet servers for the attackers to hack into the car.

Once that is accomplished, however, almost everything is fair game to hackers, allowing it to control almost any functionality of the EV, regardless of whether it's stationary or in motion. Perhaps the most dangerous of all is that the Model S could be made to stop without the driver's knowledge or consent.

The researchers claim that they were able to reproduce that hacking on any Model S they could get their hands on, using unmodified and latest firmware. Tesla has reportedly already been notified and is working on a fix for such a glaring security hole. Model S owners are strongly advised to keep their firmware up-to-date to receive that fix as soon as it is rolled out.

SOURCE: Tencent