The evolution is complete! After people spent enough time worrying about losing private data from computers and staying away from hackers, a new era has now spawned.
Now, you may have to worry about your car being hacked. That’s right! With almost every last automobile manufacturer in the world embracing connected cars, it is much easier for hackers to exploit a bug and control your car than never before. The first signs have been spotted in a Tesla vehicle.
The electric cars are safer when compared to conventional gas vehicles. They can’t be hotwired using cables but are vulnerable to hacking with the help of a computer. However, it is not all bad news for the buyers. The recent bug was exploited by a team of researchers and not hackers.
They discovered then when a laptop is connected to the Tesla Model S, a software command will enable them to start the car and steal it, if they wish to. Besides, when their laptop is still connected, it is also possible to send a Trojan bug into the car’s operating system. It will enable them to remotely access the vehicle without being physically present in it. The hacker can also disable the engine or brakes when someone else is driving it.
That’s enough of horrific stories about electric cars for one day. A responsible company like Tesla didn’t allow it to go by. Within hours, they released a patch that fixed the bug and also encouraged the researchers to report more such flaws, if any. The only catch here is that a person has to physically access the car in order to transfer this bug. If someone could find a way to remotely do it, it might be really bad for the owner.
The two researchers who found the Tesla Model S bug are Marc Rogers and Kevin Mahaffey. The duo warned Tesla that they are using an outdated web browser in their vehicle. It is powered by Apple web kit which is almost four years old and has an unfixed bug inside. A hacker could create a malicious webpage and if anyone within the car accesses the page, it will immediately release the Trojan into the infotainment system. Later, they could remotely access it or continue to receive data about the car including the conversations that take place within.
It is common for researchers to point out flaws and if Tesla and other companies could fix them in time, it’s nothing to worry about.