Security Techniques

Tesla cars ‘hackable’ says Dell engineer

Tesla cars ‘hackable’ says Dell engineer: Slack authentication in Tesla’s Model S REST API exposes the electric car to a variety of non-safety but non-trivial attacks, according to a Dell engineer and Tesla owner.

In this post over at O’Reilly, Dell senior distinguished engineer and executive director of cloud computing George Reese says the “flawed” authentication protocol in the Tesla REST API “makes no sense”. Rather than using OAuth, Tesla has decided to craft its own authentication, which Reese unpicked.

There’s one small reassurance for owners of the ‘leccy car: none of the vulnerabilities he discusses cause any kind of safety issue – although he creepily notes that an attacker would be able to see everywhere the car goes.

Tesla, it turns out, has broken one of the golden rules of security – the one that says “don’t re-use user IDs and passwords for different functions”. In this case, the e-mail and password used to build the car at the Tesla Website are retained later for customers logging into the car via the Website.

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