A Teen Took Control of Teslas by Hacking a Third-Party App
A 19-year-old said he’s found flaws in a piece of third-party software. That appears to be used by a relatively small number of owners of Tesla Inc. Cars that could allow hackers to remotely control some of the vehicles’ functions.
David Colombo, a self-described information technology security specialist, tweeted Tuesday. That the flaws gave him the ability to unlock doors and windows. Start the cars without keys, and disable their security systems.
Colombo, who is based in Germany, also claimed he can see if a driver is present in the car. Turn on the vehicles’ stereo sound systems and flash their headlights.
Tesla did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment, but Mr Colombo said the company’s security team confirmed to him they are investigating the vulnerability.
“I think it‘s pretty dangerous, if someone is able to remotely blast music on full volume or open the windows/doors while you are on the highway,” Mr Colombo said in a tweet.
“Even flashing the lights non-stop can potentially have some (dangerous) impact on other drivers.”
Tesla has a bug bounty program for researchers that can hack the car’s systems or identify vulnerabilities, with that rewards reportedly ranging from a free Model 3 to as much as $15,000.
Mr Colombo did not respond to questions about his claims by the time of publication.