If you thought that a snazzy Tesla S with a cool key fob can prevent thieves from stealing it, you’d be sorely mistaken. While petty car thieves can just break the glass and try to hot-wire it, a sophisticated car-jacker can speed off with your ride without the need to cause any damage. Using a few bits of cheap computer hardware, it is possible to outwit the security system on the car and drive off with it.
Researchers from Belgium’s KU Leuven university demonstrated that the key fobs for the Tesla Model S can be cloned and used to unlock the vehicle and start its engine, reports WIRED. The owner wouldn’t even have a clue. The researchers presented their findings to Tesla, who rewarded them with $10,000 for identifying the hack. The car manufacturer then issued an update to enable a two-factor authentication to make the system more secure.
It turns out that there’s not much required to get the hack to work. Setting hackers back by only $600 all that is required is a Raspberry Pi, Yard Stick One radio, a Proxima radio, an external hard drive and some batteries.
Tesla sent a statement to WIRED, mentioning that they needed more time to determine the veracity of the flaw and figure out a solution. Once the problem is fixed, the company will send out an update. Reports mentioned that there aren’t any news of any cars being stolen this way, but this is certainly a scary development in terms of security.