Tesla can't seem to catch a break this year with multiple accidents blamed on the company's autopilot feature, earnings misses and huge cash burns on lower than expected deliveries that have resulted in the company hitting its bank "funding limit", and a controversial proposed merger with SolarCity. Fortunately, none of this has really mattered to shareholders who keep supporting the stock near its all time highs.
As such, we suspect that Chinese hackers posting the first-ever evidence on youtube that they can hack into moving Teslas and control the vehicles from miles away won't be of much concern to shareholders either.
Nevertheless, we present the following startling footage of Tesla Model S vehicles being remotely controlled by hackers who demonstrate the ability to manipulate everything from overriding the internal displays to opening locked doors and slamming on the brakes while the car is moving. Seems pretty safe, right?
The following footage shows a hacker slamming on the brakes of this Model S from 12 miles away.
Per Forbes, the hack by Tencent’s Keen Security Labs Team was the first demonstration of anyone proving they could remotely control vehicles, making the potential for real-world attacks a little more realistic.
Keen said it had informed Tesla’s security team of multiple vulnerabilities in the latest models running the most recent software. Moreover, the hacks were found to work on various versions of the Tesla Model S and are believed to also work across all marques.
A Tesla spokesperson acknowledged the Keen hack and said it had issued an over-the-air update to "address" the vulnerabilities even though the "risk to our customers was very low."
“Within just 10 days of receiving this report, Tesla has already deployed an over-the-air software update (v7.1, 2.36.31) that addresses the potential security issues. The issue demonstrated is only triggered when the web browser is used, and also required the car to be physically near to and connected to a malicious wifi hotspot. Our realistic estimate is that the risk to our customers was very low, but this did not stop us from responding quickly.”
We agree, it's probably nothing to worry about.
The full video can be viewed here: