Teenager claims to have hacked more than 25 Teslas in 13 countries

A 19-year-old hacker claims he was able to remotely open the doors and windows of more than 25 Tesla vehicles in 13 countries, as well as turn on their radios, flash their headlights, and even start their engines and start the ” keyless driving”. ”

David Colombo, who calls himself a computer scientist based in Germany, also claims he was able to deactivate the vehicles’ anti-theft systems and see if a driver was inside the car.

While Colombo originally claimed to have “full remote control” of the Tesla in a Monday tweet, he later clarified that he was never able to take control of the cars to “control at distance steering or acceleration and braking”.

“Yes, I could potentially unlock the doors and start driving the affected Teslas,” he tweeted. “No, I can’t intervene with someone driving (other than starting the music at maximum volume or flashing the lights) nor can I drive these Teslas remotely.”

On Tuesday, Colombo tweeted that his hack was “not a vulnerability in Tesla’s infrastructure” but rather “the owners’ fault.” On Monday, he tweeted that “there seems to be no way to find the owners and report it to them.”

On Tuesday, Colombo said he was contacted by Tesla officials investigating the matter.

The Post has reached out to Tesla for comment.

Colombo’s Twitter feed has gone viral, racking up over 6,600 reactions, 1,300 shares and nearly 300 replies.

Colombo says he was able to remotely control the locking and unlocking of doors, the opening of windows and the disabling of the anti-theft system.

According to its LinkedIn page, Colombo specializes in cybersecurity. He claims that he “wrote my first piece of code when I was 10” and that his company’s goal is “to help every business protect itself against the ever-changing and dangerous threat actors in the world.” cyberspace”.

Last fall, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pledged to work with regulators to ensure the personal data of electric car drivers is protected from the threat of hackers.

With the rapid growth of self-driving technologies, there are more concerns about vehicle data security than ever before,” he said at an electric vehicle conference in China via remote connection.

By 2025, an estimated 470 million vehicles will be connected to a computerized database, making them ideal targets for cybercriminals.

By the same year, the automotive cybersecurity market is expected to be worth some $4 billion, according to Tech Monitor.

Colombo claimed on Twitter that he was able to disable Sentry Mode, an anti-theft technology in which a built-in camera becomes a de facto alarm system.

Once an alert is triggered, the cameras start recording near the vehicle. The images are then transmitted to the vehicle owner via a mobile application.

FILE PHOTO: A row of Tesla Model S sedans are seen outside the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, California April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo
Colombo said the hack was not due to a vulnerability in Tesla’s infrastructure, but rather was the result of “owner faults”.

“I could also ask for the exact location, see if a driver is present, etc.,” Colombo tweeted in his thread.

“The list is quite long.”

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