Tesla has always been very particular about the protection of its cars against digital attacks. Whether it is hiring top-notch security engineers or adding code integrity checks, Tesla has taken plenty of steps to safeguard its driving systems. But the sad news is that a team of academic hackers has found out that anyone can steal a Tesla Model S car by just cloning the car’s key fob. Yes, it is that simple: hackers can now stealthily clone the car’s key fob, open the door and drive away!
At the Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems conference going to be held in Amsterdam, a team of researchers at the KU Leuven University in Belgium is presenting a paper revealing a technique that can easily defeat the encryption used in the wireless key fobs of Tesla’s Model S luxury sedans and the hackers need less than two seconds of computation for wirelessly reading signals from a nearby Tesla owner’s fob. "We can completely impersonate the key fob and open and drive the vehicle," says Lennert Wouters, one of the KU Leuven researchers.
Tesla launched new anti-theft features for the Model S recently, which includes a PIN code system. The driver has to enter the code on the dashboard display in order to drive the car. The company assures that the Model S cars sold after June are safe from theft but the researchers still argue about its vulnerability!