Hackers Can Take Control of a Tesla With Connected Laptop

By James O Malley on at

You may remember a couple of weeks ago that hackers managed to take control of a Jeep and drive it, though thankfully as a proof-of-concept rather than malicious attack.

Now it seems that Jeep wasn't the only car company to fall foul of the hackers: at the Def Con hacking conference, which is currently underway in Las Vegas, it has been revealed that researchers Kevin Mahaffey and Marc Rogers have been able to take control of a Tesla Model S using a laptop.

As Slashgear reports though, luckily it isn't quite so bad, as the laptop has to be physically connected to the car. So you can't be driven away remotely.

Apparently the laptop can connect to the car's systems through the entertainment console and then driving functions can be controlled. Apparently when the car is travelling less than 5mph it is possible to stop the car dead, whereas if the stop command is sent when the car is travelling faster, it will decline in speed and come to a natural stop. While the hack will no doubt raise questions for Tesla, it's pretty impressive that the car is intelligent enough to do that.

The good news is like the fingerptint hack we reported earlier, Tesla will be releasing a software patch to fix the bug before the hackers present the details on how they did it publicly later today. [Slashgear]