Hacking And Theft

Hacking And Theft

Read an article about the hackers in china who say the Tesla cars can be hacked. Help me out here; what could Tesla do to their product line. I guess what I am getting at is I do not understand why someone would want to do this in the first place. As a way to prevent this from happening and the theft of a Tesla automobile; does anyone have any ideas how Tesla can stop these things from happening. I guess I am asking what enhancements they could make that may later be used as an option on the cars that could be used to help market the product line.

H. Eric Stephens
Marketing Expert

EQC | July 16, 2014

I saw the hacking news coming out of China, and it sounded like the Tesla app could be hacked -- they said the hack could allow somebody to unlock the doors, honk the horn, etc. Nobody is saying (yet?) that they have a hack to easily turn on, turn off, or steal a Model S, and nobody claims a hack to control the car while it is being driven.

If my interpretation is correct, this sounds like the same hack written about by CNN a while back:

just an allusion | July 17, 2014

If there is any truth to this, then Tesla Motors need merely establish a VPN for use with their vehicles to prevent any access by anyone other than them for the software updates.

Problem solved!

estephens001 | July 17, 2014

Thanks for the heads up. Nothing to be concerned about.

Haeze | July 17, 2014

I don't understand what Qihoo thinks they have done... They say it can be hacked to allow you to unlock doors, flash lights, and honk the horn... sounds like they simply logged into a device with the app on it.

They still had to know what account was associated with that car, they still had to have the password, and they still had to have physical access to the car to pair a device to it. If you have the username, password, and physical access to any computer, there is no level of security that can prevent that.

It doesn't sound like anything got hacked. That is like saying a user gave you the username and password to their computer, and let you into their home to use it, and they were able to "Hack" it to change your desktop image.

Timo | July 17, 2014

Unless hacking was actually gain the access without username and password.

Haeze | July 23, 2014

The Qihoo car was their own car, that they had physical access, and the password/account for it.

I have not seen them prove what they have done with any outside source. If they really did do what they say they did, they would have attended, and won the Chinese award at that event.

My bet is Qihoo saw an opportunity for free press, and took it, even though it was a blatant lie.

just an allusion | July 27, 2014

That's what it sounds like to me, too, Haeze, a ploy for attention.

just an allusion | July 27, 2014


It sounds like they managed to more so hack the third party Smartphone app than the car itself then, using the access acquired through the app, they could trigger the car locks, determine its location, and also see how much its batteries are charged.

Relatively harmless nuances, nothing that poses a direct threat to an owner, per se, though such incursions would serve to breach the vehicles' perimeter defenses in that they would enable a less scrupulous person to locate a Tesla, unlock it, and access any items that might be inside the car.

My earlier comment addressed only the software's update function integrity and not the actual threat posed by the access provided through the third-party app.

To this end, perhaps the use of the app service needs be reconsidered/the writers of its program need to devise a more secure code, possibly one utilizing a mutating algorithm?