Apparently, Tesla Motors is abiding by the wise words of Chinese military general Sun Tzu to keep its friends close and its enemies closer. The tech-heavy electric vehicle maker attended the recent Def Con conference in Las Vegas, The Wall Street Journal reports, in order to learn about computer-security advances and to attract hackers. Come and get it.
It used to be that all it took to steal a car was a slim jim and a deft hand. But as the recent hacks of models like the Toyota Prius and Tesla Model S shows, these days it takes some real technical know-how. Automakers appear to actually be taking this threat seriously, which means they'll be keenly interested in the news that hacker Silvio Cesare in Australia has his own high-tech approach to breaking into a vehicle that is even possible remotely.
In the world of computers, competitions that challenge so-called "white hat" hackers are fairly common. Break into this system in X minutes and we'll give you Y dollars. Rarely, though, does this world cross over with the realm of automobiles.
Might it be that one of Apple Computer's software-security gurus wasn't quite, ahem, secure enough to resist the pull of Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk? Kristin Paget, who held the illustrious title of "Hacker Princess" at Cupertino, CA-based Apple, starts working for nearby Tesla this week, Re/code says. Paget would only say on her Twitter feed that the gig was "something security-related" and added that she "shouldn't say too much."
Cyber crime is big business these days, and everyone from organized crime rings to governments are participating. The latest publicized attack was announced by Nissan, after the automaker detected malicious malware on its computer network.
Reuters is reporting that personal information from more than 283,000 Honda Canada customers has been stolen by cyber criminals. The data includes names, addresses, vehicle identification numbers and, most importantly, some financing account information.
A group of computer scientists managed to wirelessly hack into an unnamed sedan, insert a bit of malicious code and control the vehicle's ECU, giving them access to a variety of in-car control systems. This recent study is further proof that our constantly connected cars are becoming vulnerable to attacks, but sometimes the facts aren't as clear as they'd seem.