A Tesla Model S was recently hacked as part of an experiment, raising concerns yet again about the online security of vehicles.
It’s not like people didn’t already know it was possible to hack a car.
Wired ran a story last month recounting the experience of being in a Jeep Cherokee while it was being hacked. Following the article’s publication, Chrysler recalled 1.4 million cars with the dashboard computers believed to be vulnerable to such hacks and the company is now facing what could turn out to be a pretty big lawsuit.
So why hack a Tesla? Kevin Mahaffrey and Marc Rogers told the Financial Times that one reason was Tesla has a reputation for understanding software better than most other car companies.
Tesla Motors acted fast in responding to the hack, according to Re/code. The electric car company issued a software patch to owners over WiFi and cellular connections Thursday, and the company noted in a statement that the hack had occurred from inside the vehicle. The now-notorious Jeep hack described in Wired was orchestrated remotely.
Still, any hack of a car is alarming. Mahaffrey, chief technology officer of Lookout, told the Financial Times that the internet is hostile for those who don’t understand its intricacies – including automakers who may not be well acquainted with online security.
“They tend to look at their peers and they all do what each other is doing,” he told the newspaper. “If no one has done a great job with security they are jumping off a cliff swiftly to their doom.”