Tesla Model S Updated After Cybersecurity Hack | Edmunds

Tesla Model S Updated After Cybersecurity Hack


PALO ALTO, California — The Tesla Model S electric sedan is the latest target of hackers who said they were able to take control of the vehicle, shutting it down at a low speed, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Tesla told Edmunds that an update has already been issued to owners to address vulnerabilities.

Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm Lookout, and Marc Rogers, principal security researcher at Cloudflare, said they will detail the Model S hack at cybersecurity conference Defcon on Friday.

"We shut the car down when it was driving initially at a low speed of 5 mph," Rogers told the Financial Times. "All the screens go black, the music turns off and the handbrake comes on, lurching it to a stop."

Tesla noted that the Model S in question was not remotely hacked, but that researchers were in the vehicle.

"Our security team works closely with the security research community to ensure that we continue to protect our systems against vulnerabilities by constantly stress-testing, validating and updating our safeguards," a Tesla spokesperson wrote in response to a query Thursday. "Lookout's research was a result of physically being in a Model S to test for vulnerabilities.

"We've already developed an update for the vulnerabilities they surfaced, which was made available to all Model S customers through an over-the-air update that has been deployed to all vehicles."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk did not address any hacking concerns in a nearly 90-minute call with analysts Wednesday to discuss second-quarter results.

The hackers hinted in July that they would be revealing Model S vulnerabilities at Defcon.

In a July 14 Twitter post, Mahaffey said: "We're huge fans of Tesla. We found a number of issues but still one of the most secure cars on the road."

The Model S hacking follows highly publicized reports about cybersecurity breaches in GM's OnStar RemoteLink app and a 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee incident prompted Fiat-Chrysler to recall 1.4 million vehicles in the United States.

Lawmakers, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), continue to weigh in on growing concerns about security gaps in U.S. cars and trucks.

"Cyber-threats in cars are real and urgent, no figment of the imagination — as this huge recall demonstrates," Blumenthal said in a recent statement following the attack on the Cherokee.

Edmunds says: The Model S has been described as the most connected car in the world. It's no surprise that Tesla immediately correct the security flaw.

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