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Tesla Model S hacked- doors swing open and horn honks while electric car is still moving

James Temperton
22 Jul 2014
Tesla Model S
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A Chinese security company claims to have hacked the Tesla Model S with potentially dangerous consequences

Chinese security researchers have hacked the Tesla Model S, allowing them to open its doors and sun roof, switch on headlights and honk the horn while the car is moving. Tesla has said it is investigating the Model S exploit, which was discovered at a hacking event at Zhejiang University.

The hack was found by Qihoo 360 Technology, a Beijing-based internet security company taking part in the SyScan +360 technology conference. A $10,000 prize was on offer to anyone who could successfully hack the Tesla Model S electric car. The company claimed that its hack allowed it to take control of some in-car functions including opening the doors and sun roof and sounding the horn, all while the car was moving.

Tesla said it would investigate and fix any "legitimate vulnerability", adding that it hoped security researchers would "act in good faith" and not splurge details of the hack online until it had been fixed. The electric car company said it broadly supported the idea of a sponsored 'hackathon', adding that it was a good way to identify potential vulnerabilities.

Billionaire owner Elon Musk recently announced that the patents for his company's electric cars would become "open source", allowing anyone to use them. Tesla is trying to encourage greater adoption of electric cars and persuade other automotive companies to go green.

This isn't the first time that the Model S has drawn the attention of hackers. In April a hidden Ethernet port was found inside the car, giving hackers direct access to the computer system used by the Model S.

The port could be used to run software on the heavily locked-down operating system, something that is known as jailbreaking on phones and tablets. The ability to jailbreak the Tesla Model S could allow hackers to install dodgy software with potentially dangerous consequences.

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