Wednesday, September 21, 2016

There is a hacker in the car

Knight Rider was one of the most popular series in the eighties in the United States. The main character was a car that had complete autonomy thanks to a central computer. It could move by itself, make decisions and speak. Its name was Kitt and it was something like a modern technological horse loyal to Michael Knight, played by David Hasselhoff before he became a lifeguard in Baywatch.

Keen Lab researchers at the Chinese Tencent Company have found a number of weaknesses that could put Tesla Model S in the hands of hackers. According to several websites, Security Affairs among them, attackers could manage these vehicles with a remote control. The researchers proved that it’s possible to take control of the cars when they are parked or in full use. The most shocking part of this was that it could be done with the car moving. Those hackers could activate the brakes when the car was going 12 miles per hour. They could also activate the wipers, open the trunk and fold the rearview mirrors.
“After several months of deep research, we have found more than one weakness and we have implemented the remote control of the vehicles, without any physical contact with the car. It is worth mentioning that we used a model with the latest firmware to demonstrate the attack”, researchers expressed in a Keen Lab blog.

Hackers have been the first ones to bring out what could be done with the Tesla cars remotely. “As far as we know, we are the first ones to endanger the CAN Bus to manage the remote control of the car”, these Chinese hackers said. After reporting the case to Tesla Motors, they received 10 thousand dollars as a reward for discovering the failures.


Tesla is working on the malfunctions, and seeing how to solve them, but will not remove the model from the market because it can be modified and they can get rid of the errors on the way. The attack to those cars by black hat hackers is something that scares vehicle producers. Many times, in their search of the “Kitt car”, they could be leaving an open door for cybercriminals.

What these Chinese hackers did and their reward coming from Tesla Motors indicates that there is still a lot of work to do in the cybersecurity field. A study by Cybersecurity Ventures concluded that during 2016 there will be one million jobs related to cybersecurity, mostly in the United States. The number is expected to increase in 1.5 million in 2019. An estimation that countries with high unemployment rate should take into consideration.
Original Image Source: Freeimages

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