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Wednesday, 19 January 2022 09:57

Teenager Accidentally Finds Flaw That Lets Him Hack Dozens of Tesla Cars

Written by Ameya Paleja, Interesting Engineering
Teenager Accidentally Finds Flaw That Lets Him Hack Dozens of Tesla Cars Jetcityimage/iStock

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David Colombo, a 19-year-old cybersecurity researcher, accidentally came across a vulnerability that allowed him to control a dozen Tesla cars, Vice reported.

Digging deeper, he found hundreds of cars in Germany, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, the UK, the U.S., Canada and China at risk from this vulnerability.

 

Colombo has been coding since he was 10 years old and attends school only two days a week while spending the rest of his time consulting firms on cybersecurity issues and honing his skills.

 

During one such audit at a French firm, Colombo found a software program on the network exposed data about the chief technology officer's Tesla vehicle, including its current location and location history, Bloomberg reported.

 

The software program is not owned by Tesla but a third party whose details are currently under wraps to give the concerned organization sufficient time to fix the issue.

 

When Colombo accessed the vulnerability, he was able to push commands such as disabling security features, opening and closing doors, and turning up the music in cars in different parts of the world. 

 

In all, Colombo found 25 Tesla vehicles vulnerable to an attack and even contacted three Tesla owners, one each in Germany the U.S., and Ireland, using the personal information the car owners had shared with their cars. One of the owners helped him confirm his findings after Colombo could remotely blow the Tesla's horn, Bloomberg reported. 

 

Upon deeper analysis, Colombo found the vulnerability could affect hundreds of cars and decided to publicly disclose this information since he could not find the contact details of these car owners. Although the vulnerability doesn't give the hacker...


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